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Reactive Tracer Test To Evaluate the Fate of Pharmaceuticals in Rivers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2011 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 45, no 15, 6296-6302 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The fate of pharmaceutically active substances in rivers is still only incompletely understood, especially as the knowledge transfer from laboratory experiments to the real world is complicated by factors like turbidity, hydrodynamics, or heterogeneity. Therefore, we performed a tracer test with pharmaceutically active substances to study their fate and the importance of individual attenuation mechanisms in situ. The experiment was carried out at a small stream in central Sweden. Two dye tracers and six pharmaceuticals were injected as Dirac pulse and water was sampled at five downstream sites along a 16-km-long river reach. Ibuprofen and clofibric acid were the only compounds which were eliminated along the study reach at half-life times of 10 h and 2.5 d, respectively. Based on the shape of the breakthrough curves and the low hydraulic conductivity of the river bed, we can assume that exchange of river water with the hyporheic zone was minor. Thus, the contribution of processes in the hyporheic zone to the attenuation of pharmaceuticals was low. We hypothesize that ibuprofen and clofibric acid were transformed by in-stream biofilms growing on submerged macrophytes and at the water-sediment interface. Phototransformation and sorption were ruled out as major attenuation processes. No attenuation of bezafibrate, diclofenac, metoprolol, and naproxen was observed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 45, no 15, 6296-6302 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences Ecology Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69230DOI: 10.1021/es104320nISI: 000293196400017OAI: diva2:476994
authorCount :2Available from: 2012-01-12 Created: 2012-01-11 Last updated: 2012-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Radke, Michael
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