Pilot survey monitoring pharmaceuticals and related compounds in a sewage treatment plant located on the Mediterranean coast
ABSTRACT A one-year monitoring study was performed to evaluate the occurrence, persistence and fate of a group of 14 organic compounds in a sewage treatment plant (STP) located in the south of Spain. These results are part of a more extensive study, financed by the Spanish Ministry of Research with the aim to evaluate the traceability of new pollutants on the Mediterranean coast and to determine the removal efficiency of sewage treatment plants (STP) for these pollutants. The compounds which have been analyzed include pharmaceuticals of various therapeutic categories (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, dipyrone, diclofenac, carbamazepine and codeine), pesticides (chlorfenvinfos and permethrin), caffeine, triclosan, bisphenol A and three of their more relevant metabolites (1,7-dimethylxanthine, carbamazepine 10,11-epoxide and 2,7/2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin). An SPE/GC-MS multi-residue analytical method was developed and validated to facilitate simultaneous determination of these compounds in both influent and effluent wastewater. The method provided mean recoveries higher than 75%, with the exception of 2,7/2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, dipyrone and permethrin which exhibited recoveries lower than 22%. The overall variability of the method was below 14%. The method detection limit (LOD) was between 1 and 100 ng l(-1) and precision, which was calculated as relative standard deviation (RSD), ranged from 1.8% to 11.2%. The application of the proposed method has allowed the identification of all the target compounds at mean concentrations which ranged from 0.12 to 134 microg l(-1) in the influent and from 0.09 to 18.0 microg l(-1) in the effluent. The removal efficiencies of the STP for these compounds varied from 20% (carbamazepine) to 99% (acetaminophen), but in all cases resulted insufficient in order to avoid their presence in treated water and subsequently in the environment.
SourceAvailable from: Yun-Ya Yang[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Purpose Sediments from a rural to urban gradient along the Alafia River in Florida, USA, were collected to determine the risk of environmental contamination with legacy (organochlorine pesticides (OCPs)) and new contaminants (pharmaceuticals). Materials and methods Bed sediments (0-10 cm) collected from rural and urban sub-basins of the Alafia River were analyzed for OCPs and pharmaceuticals using standard gas chromatography and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques. Results and discussion Three most frequently detected pharmaceuticals in sediments were carbamazepine (100 % of samples), trimethoprim (89 % of samples), and pseudoephedrine (63 % of samples). While acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, lidocaine, and nicotine were detected in −1) than pharmaceuticals (sum 0.5-61.9 ng g−1) in sediments are probably due to the historic use of OCPs since these were banned for use in the USA in the 1970s, while pharmaceuticals are still used. Conclusions The variability in detection and concentrations of legacy and new compounds in rural and urban stream sediments is likely due to the different magnitude of input sources, site characteristics, and chemical properties of individual compounds. Significant positive correlations between OCPs and sediment properties (organic matter, silt, and clay) suggest that sediments are a major sink of various contaminants in the Alafia River. We conclude that the concentrations of both pharmaceuticals and OCPs in sediments of this urban river are relatively lower than existing literature; however, these can still be of environmental concern to aquatic organisms.Journal of Soils and Sediments 04/2015; 15(4). DOI:10.1007/s11368-015-1077-7 · 2.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) have been widely used in modern society and persistently released into aquatic environments. Energy-efficient technologies are in immediate need to control PPCP pollution. Nanocomposite membranes containing single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNT and MWCNT) were fabricated in this study and used in the filtration of triclosan (TCS), acetaminophen (AAP), and ibuprofen (IBU) to determine the capabilities and mechanisms of PPCP removal. The removals ranged from approximately 10-95%, and increased with increasing number of aromatic rings (AAP≈IBU<TCS), decreasing surface oxygen content (oxidized MWCNT<MWCNT), increasing specific surface area (MWCNT<SWCNT), and elimination of natural organic matter. Also, variations of solution pH from 4 to 10 influenced PPCP removal by up to 70%; greater removals were observed with neutral PPCP molecules than with ions due to reduced electrostatic repulsion (TCS and IBU) or formation of hydrogen bond (AAP). These results suggest that the capabilities of CNT membranes in removing PPCP became high when strong adsorption existed due to favorable PPCP-CNT interactions. Future study is warranted to identify and strength CNT-PPCP interactions in order to enhance the efficiency of CNT composite membranes used for PPCP removal.Journal of Membrane Science 04/2015; 479:165-174. DOI:10.1016/j.memsci.2015.01.034 · 4.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Caffeine, a purine alkaloid drug, has been recognized as a contaminant of water bodies in various climatic regions, however, these environmental caffeine concentrations are the first to be reported in the tropical Caribbean. The major objective of this study was to develop an improved method to extract caffeine from surface and wastewaters in the warm Caribbean environment and measure caffeine concentrations in highly populated areas in Barbados. Caffeine was extracted from water via solid phase extraction (SPE); the acidified water samples were loaded onto C-18 cartridges and eluted with pure chloroform. The extracted caffeine was quantified using gas chromatography - mass spectroscopy - multiple reaction monitoring (GC-MS/MS-MRM). Method detection limits of 0.2 ng L(-1) from 1 L water samples were achieved. Caffeine was detected in all environmental water samples investigated. The concentrations of caffeine in surface waters were detected in the range 0.1 - 6.9 μg L(-1). The two wastewater treatment plants, primary and secondary treatment systems, significantly differed in their ability to eliminate caffeine in the raw sewage (38% and 99% caffeine removal efficiencies respectively). Thus, it may be essential to employ secondary treatment to effectively remove caffeine from wastewater systems in Barbados. Caffeine in water bodies are principally attributed to anthropogenic sources as caffeine-producing plants are not commonly grown on the island of Barbados. The study also shows the recalcitrance of caffeine to hydrolytic degradation.SpringerPlus 02/2015; 4:57. DOI:10.1186/s40064-015-0809-x