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Fate of pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in four small European rivers receiving treated wastewater
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2379-0768
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
2016 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 50, no 11, 5614-5621 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A considerable knowledge gap exists with respect to the fate and environmental relevance of transformation products (TPs) of polar organic micropollutants in surface water. To narrow this gap we investigated the fate of 20 parent compounds (PCs) and 11 characteristic TPs in four wastewater-impacted rivers. Samples were obtained from time-integrated active sampling as well as passive sampling using polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS). Seventeen out of the 20 PCs were detected in at least one of the rivers. All the PCs except acesulfame, carbamazepine, and fluconazole were attenuated along the studied river stretches, with the largest decrease found in the smallest river which had an intense surface water-pore water exchange. Seven TPs were detected, all of which were already present directly downstream of the WWTP outfall, suggesting that the WWTPs were a major source of TPs to the recipients. For anionic compounds, attenuation was the highest in the two rivers with the lowest discharge, while the pattern was not as clear for neutral or cationic compounds. For most compounds the results obtained from active sampling were not significantly different from those using POCIS, demonstrating that the cost and labor efficient POCIS is suitable to determine the attenuation of organic micropollutants in rivers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 50, no 11, 5614-5621 p.
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123715DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06327OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123715DiVA: diva2:876214
Available from: 2015-12-02 Created: 2015-12-02 Last updated: 2016-06-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Fate of Pharmaceuticals and Their Transformation Products in Rivers: An integration of target analysis and screening methods to study attenuation processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fate of Pharmaceuticals and Their Transformation Products in Rivers: An integration of target analysis and screening methods to study attenuation processes
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Pharmaceuticals are environmental contaminants causing steadily increasing concern due to their high usage, ubiquitous distribution in the aquatic environment, and potential to exert adverse effects on the ecosystems. After being discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), pharmaceuticals can undergo transformation processes in surface waters, of which microbial degradation in river sediments is considered highly significant. In spite of a substantial number of studies on the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in aquatic systems, a comprehensive understanding of their environmental fate is still limited. First of all, very few consistent datasets from lab-based experiments to field studies exist to allow for a straightforward comparison of observations. Secondly, data on the identity and occurrence of transformation products (TPs) is insufficient and the relation of the behavior of TPs to that of their parent compounds (PCs) is poorly understood. In this thesis, these knowledge gaps were addressed by integrating the TP identification using suspect/non-target screening approaches and PC/TP fate determination. The overarching objective was to improve the understanding of the fate of pharmaceuticals in rivers, with a specific focus on water-sediment interactions, and formation and behavior of TPs. In paper I, 11 pharmaceutical TPs were identified in water-sediment incubation experiments using non-target screening. Bench-scale flume experiments were conducted in paper II to simultaneously investigate the behavior of PCs and TPs in both water and sediment compartments under more complex and realistic hydraulic conditions. The results illustrate that water-sediment interactions play a significant role for efficient attenuation of PCs, and demonstrate that TPs are formed in sediment and released back to surface water. In paper III the environmental behavior of PCs along stretches of four wastewater-impacted rivers was related to that of their TPs. The attenuation of PCs is highly compound and site specific. The highest attenuation rates of the PCs were observed in the river with the most efficient river water-pore water exchange. This research also indicates that WWTPs can be a major source of TPs to the receiving waters. In paper IV, suspect screening with a case-control concept was applied on water samples collected at both ends of the river stretches, which led to the identification of several key TPs formed along the stretches. The process-oriented strategies applied in this thesis provide a basis for prioritizing and identifying the critical PCs and TPs with respect to environmental relevance in future fate studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2015. 24 p.
Keyword
pharmaceuticals, transformation products, fate, river, suspect screening, non-target screening
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123752 (URN)978-91-7649-292-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-02-05, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2016-01-14Bibliographically approved

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