Article

Pharmaceutical residues in the river Rhine - Results of a one-decade monitoring programme

DVGW-Technologiezentrum Wasser, Karlsruher Strasse 84, 76139 Karlsruhe, Germany.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring (Impact Factor: 2.18). 06/2008; 10(5):664-70. DOI: 10.1039/b800701b
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

In this paper, results of an extensive monitoring programme for pharmaceutical residues in the river Rhine are presented. For one decade (1997 until 2006), the occurrence of widely used human pharmaceuticals like analgesics, lipid regulators, antiepileptics and others has been studied at four locations along the river Rhine. The results of more than 500 analyses clearly prove that compounds such as carbamazepine or diclofenac are regularly found in the river Rhine in concentrations up to several hundred ng per litre. Combining concentration levels with data on water flow enables the calculation of transports, which e.g. for carbamazepine or diclofenac were in the range of several tons per year. The evaluation of the long-term monitoring data shows that only a slight decrease in concentration levels as well as in annual transports can be observed and thus the contamination of the river Rhine by pharmaceutical residues during the last decade has to be regarded as almost constant. Seasonal variations can be detected for bezafibrate, diclofenac and ibuprofen, for which the concentrations are much lower in the summer months. A more effective removal during wastewater treatment in the warmer periods of the year seems to be the major reason for those variations. For carbamazepine, no comparable seasonal effect can be found.

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    • "Due to the enormous quantities consumed, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-depressives, hormones and blood lipid regulators are found in almost all aquatic environments (Kolpin et al. 2002; Loos et al. 2009). Most pharmaceuticals tend to enter the aquatic environment continuously (but see Sacher et al. 2008 for seasonal exception) in contrast to other pollutants such as herbicides and insecticides which are applied only at specific times related to the life cycle of the target organism, or in response to observed pest outbreaks (Rosi-Marshall and Royer 2012). Pharmaceuticals are designed to be biologically active at very low concentrations and end up in surface waters either unchanged, or as active metabolites/polar conjugates, mostly via municipal wastewater and agricultural discharges (Boxall et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last decades, anthropogenic activities have discharged into the environment many manmade chemicals. There is a rising concern regarding pharmaceutical products and their spread into the environment (e.g. Kümmerer 2008). Due to the enormous quantities consumed, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-depressives, hormones and blood lipid regulators are found in almost all aquatic environments (Kolpin et al. 2002; Loos et al. 2009). Most pharmaceuticals tend to enter the aquatic environment continuously (but see Sacher et al. 2008 for seasonal exception) in contrast to other pollutants such as herbicides and insecticides which are applied only at specific times related to the life cycle of the target organism, or in response to observed pest outbreaks (Rosi-Marshall and Royer 2012). Pharmaceuticals are designed to be biologically active at very low concentrations and end up in surface waters either unchanged, or as active metabolites/polar conjugates, mostly via municipal wastewater and agricultural discharges (Boxall et al. 2012).
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology
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    • "Despite the worldwide release and occurrence of pharmaceutical residues in the aquatic environment, little is still known about the long-term evaluation of concentrations, especially in groundwater . Many studies deal with concentrations in effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) (Ternes and Hirsch, 2000; Bueno et al., 2012; Loos et al., 2013; Kostich et al., 2014), surface water (Schwab et al., 2005; Sacher et al., 2008; Loos et al., 2009; Vulliet and Cren-Oliv e, 2011), and groundwater (Sacher et al., 2001; Loos et al., 2010; Maeng et al., 2011; L opez-Serna et al., 2013), although most of them address single sampling campaigns. Time series data related to groundwater have been scarcely published (Wolf et al., 2012; Zemann et al., 2014) despite the fact that they can contribute significantly to a better understanding of substance behavior and long-term threads. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sewage input into a karst aquifer via leaking sewers and cesspits was investigated over five years in an urbanized catchment. Of 66 samples, analyzed for 25 pharmaceuticals, 91% indicated detectable concentrations. The former standard iodinated X-ray contrast medium (ICM) diatrizoic acid was detected most frequently. Remarkably, it was found more frequently in groundwater (79%, median: 54 ng/l) than in wastewater (21%, 120 ng/l), which is supposed to be the only source in this area. In contrast, iopamidol, a possible substitute, spread over the aquifer during the investigation period whereas concentrations were two orders of magnitude higher in wastewater than in groundwater. Knowledge about changing application of pharmaceuticals thus is essential to assess urban impacts on aquifers, especially when applying mass balances. Since correlated concentrations provide conclusive evidence that, for this catchment, nitrate in groundwater rather comes from urban than from rural sources, ICM are considered useful tracers.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · Environmental Pollution
    • "Several studies proved the contamination of the aquatic environment with pharmaceuticals, for example in the rivers Rhine [8] [9] and Elbe [10] in Germany. But there are still great gaps in knowledge about the discharged drugs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Based on regional prescription data several pharmaceuticals with variable amounts of prescription and corresponding metabolites were selected and analyzed in influent and effluent samples of the sewage treatment plant (STP) in Dresden, Germany. Pharmaceuticals of the following most prescribed therapeutic groups were chosen: antibiotics, antifungals, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, antidepressants, and cardiovascular active compounds like beta blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. To analyze the selected compounds, a multi-target method was developed and applied to 24-h composite wastewater samples for three single days in May and June 2014. The method was based on a cleanup of a sample with a volume of 1mL using solid phase extraction followed by a high performance liquid chromatography coupled to a tandem mass spectrometer. Analytes were separated in a 15min chromatographic separation and quantified using 23 Internal Standards and a calibration curve in 40-fold diluted blank urine. The limit of quantification varied between 50 and 200ng/L and for all analytes good accuracy and precision as well as linearity for the calibration curve with the correlation coefficient R(2) higher than 0.99 was reached. A total of 41 and 40 of the selected 55 analytes were detected and quantified in the influent and effluent samples of the studied STP, respectively. Valsartan was the compound with the highest maximum concentration in influent (27.1μg/L) and effluent (15.7μg/L). Furthermore, analytes like bezafibrate, candesartan, carbamazepine, gabapentin, metoprolol, levetiracetam, pregabalin and telmisartan as well as the metabolite O-desmethyl venlafaxine were detectable in influent and effluent samples, respectively, with a concentration higher than 1μg/L. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences
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