Occurrence and fate of pharmaceutically active compounds in the environment, a case study: Höje River in Sweden

Active compounds in the environment lately have been acknowledged to constitute a health risk for humans and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

David Bendz; Nicklas A. Paxéus; Timothy R. Ginn; Frank J. Loge

2005

Scholarcy highlights

  • Active compounds in the environment lately have been acknowledged to constitute a health risk for humans and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
  • Human and veterinary applications are the main sources of Pharmaceutically active compounds in the environment and the major pathways are excretion and discharge to the environment through sewage treatment plants
  • Water samples were collected from the influent and effluent of the STP, in a series of dammed reservoirs leading to discharge into the Höje River in Sweden, and at several locations in the river downstream of the outfall
  • In addition to the targeted pharmaceuticals, GC–MS analysis of the samples revealed the presence of other sewage-related pollutants and these results where included for comparison
  • Removal efficiencies were calculated in the STP and found to display a wide range with numerous species surviving treatment at greater than half their influent concentrations, including diclofenac, the anti-epileptic carbamazepine, a β-blocker, and antibiotics trimetoprim and sulfamethoxazole
  • The concentrations of chloride and boron were used as natural inert tracers to estimate the relative extent of dilution of PhACs measured in the effluent of the STP on concentrations measured further downstream
  • Results from this study emphasize the need for a broader view on the concept of persistence that accounts for loading rates, in addition to removal mechanisms, under a variety of spatial and temporal scales

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