Water and Soil Quality Research Group

Sant Jordi Desvalls, Spain

Water and Soil Quality Research Group

Sant Jordi Desvalls, Spain

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Eljarrat E.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Gorga M.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Gasser M.,Ramon Llull University | Diaz-Ferrero J.,Ramon Llull University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2014

A study was performed to assess exposure of the Spanish population to hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). Based on consumption data statistics, food items from six food groups, i.e., fish and seafood, meat, animal fat, dairy products, eggs, and vegetable oils, were sampled and analyzed for HBCD followed by per capita intake calculations. The highest levels of HBCD were found in the fish and seafood samples (mean value of 11.6 ng/g lw), followed by meat samples (mean value of 2.68 ng/g lw), eggs (mean value of 1.75 ng/g lw), dairy products (mean value of 0.78 ng/g lw), animal fat (mean value of 0.74 ng/g lw), and vegetable oils (mean value of 0.45 ng/g lw). The daily ingestion rate of HBCD was estimated at 2.58 ng (kg of body weight)-1 day-1. HBCD mainly came from fish and seafood (56%), but also dairy products (14%) and meat (12%) contributed. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Gros M.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Gros M.,CSIRO | Cruz-Morato C.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Marco-Urrea E.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | And 8 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2014

This paper describes the degradation of the X-ray contrast agent iopromide (IOP) and the antibiotic ofloxacin (OFLOX) by the white-rot-fungus Trametes versicolor. Batch studies in synthetic medium revealed that between 60 and 80% of IOP and OFLOX were removed when spiked at approximately 12mgL-1 and 10mgL-1, respectively. A significant number of transformation products (TPs) were identified for both pharmaceuticals, confirming their degradation. IOP TPs were attributed to two principal reactions: (i) sequential deiodination of the aromatic ring and (ii) N-dealkylation of the amide at the hydroxylated side chain of the molecule. On the other hand, OFLOX transformation products were attributed mainly to the oxidation, hydroxylation and cleavage of the piperazine ring.Experiments in 10L-bioreactor with fungal biomass fluidized by air pulses operated in batch achieved high percentage of degradation of IOP and OFLOX when load with sterile (87% IOP, 98.5% OFLOX) and unsterile (65.4% IOP, 99% OFLOX) hospital wastewater (HWW) at their real concentration (μgL-1 level). Some of the most relevant IOP and OFLOX TPs identified in synthetic medium were also detected in bioreactor samples. Acute toxicity tests indicated a reduction of the toxicity in the final culture broth from both experiments in synthetic medium and in batch bioreactor. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | University of Barcelona, Water and Soil Quality Research Group, Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, University of Valencia and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) | Year: 2016

Land use type, physical and chemical stressors, and organic microcontaminants were investigated for their effects on the biological communities (biofilms and invertebrates) in several Mediterranean rivers. The diversity of invertebrates, and the scores of the first principal component of a PCA performed with the diatom communities were the best descriptors of the distribution patterns of the biological communities against the river stressors. These two metrics decreased according to the progressive site impairment (associated to higher area of agricultural and urban-industrial, high water conductivity, higher dissolved organic carbon and dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentrations, and higher concentration of organic microcontaminants, particularly pharmaceutical and industrial compounds). The variance partition analyses (RDAs) attributed the major share (10%) of the biological communities response to the environmental stressors (nutrients, altered discharge, dissolved organic matter), followed by the land use occupation (6%) and of the organic microcontaminants (2%). However, the variance shared by the three groups of descriptors was very high (41%), indicating that their simultaneous occurrence determined most of the variation in the biological communities.

Acuna V.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | von Schiller D.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Garcia-Galan M.J.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Rodriguez-Mozaz S.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | And 9 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

A multitude of pharmaceuticals enter surface waters via discharges of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and many raise environmental and health concerns. Chemical fate models predict their concentrations using estimates of mass loading, dilution and in-stream attenuation. However, current comprehension of the attenuation rates remains a limiting factor for predictive models. We assessed in-stream attenuation of 75 pharmaceuticals in 4 river segments, aiming to characterize in-stream attenuation variability among different pharmaceutical compounds, as well as among river segments differing in environmental conditions. Our study revealed that in-stream attenuation was highly variable among pharmaceuticals and river segments and that none of the considered pharmaceutical physicochemical and molecular properties proved to be relevant in determining the mean attenuation rates. Instead, the octanol-water partition coefficient (. Kow) influenced the variability of rates among river segments, likely due to its effect on sorption to sediments and suspended particles, and therefore influencing the balance between the different attenuation mechanisms (biotransformation, photolysis, sorption, and volatilization). The magnitude of the measured attenuation rates urges scientists to consider them as important as dilution when aiming to predict concentrations in freshwater ecosystems. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Acena J.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Stampachiacchiere S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Perez S.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Barcelo D.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Barcelo D.,Catalan Institute for Water Research
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2015

This review summarizes the advances in environmental analysis by liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC–HRMS) during the last decade and discusses different aspects of their application. LC–HRMS has become a powerful tool for simultaneous quantitative and qualitative analysis of organic pollutants, enabling their quantitation and the search for metabolites and transformation products or the detection of unknown compounds. LC–HRMS provides more information than low-resolution (LR) MS for each sample because it can accurately determine the mass of the molecular ion and its fragment ions if it can be used for MS–MS. Another advantage is that the data can be processed using either target analysis, suspect screening, retrospective analysis, or non-target screening. With the growing popularity and acceptance of HRMS analysis, current guidelines for compound confirmation need to be revised for quantitative and qualitative purposes. Furthermore, new commercial software and user-built libraries are required to mine data in an efficient and comprehensive way. The scope of this critical review is not to provide a comprehensive overview of the many studies performed with LC–HRMS in the field of environmental analysis, but to reveal its advantages and limitations using different workflows. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Lucas D.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Barcelo D.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Barcelo D.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Rodriguez-Mozaz S.,Catalan Institute for Water Research
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2016

The elimination of 81 pharmaceuticals (PhACs) by means of a biological treatment based on the fungus Trametes versicolor was evaluated in this work. PhAC removal studied in different types of wastewaters (urban, reverse osmosis concentrate, hospital, and veterinary hospital wastewaters) were reviewed and compared with conventional activated sludge (CAS) treatment. In addition, hazard indexes were calculated based on the exposure levels and ecotoxicity for each compound and used for the evaluation of the contaminants removal. PhAC elimination achieved with the fungal treatment (mean value 76%) was similar or slightly worse than the elimination achieved in the CAS treatment (85%). However, the fungal reactor was superior in removing more hazardous compounds (antibiotics and psychiatric drugs) than the conventional activated sludge in terms of environmental risk reduction (93% and 53% of reduction respectively). Fungal treatment can thus be considered as a good alternative to conventional treatment technologies for the elimination of PhACs from wastewaters. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Feo M.L.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Baron E.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Aga D.S.,State University of New York at Buffalo | Eljarrat E.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2013

Recently, hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH-PBDEs) have emerged as environmentally relevant pollutants due to recent reports of their natural production and metabolism. Recent mechanistic studies in human and rats have shown that some OH-PBDEs are more potent than parent compounds (PBDEs) and may contribute substantially to neurodevelopmental disorders by direct neurotoxicity, or indirectly through altered thyroid disruption. However, analytical methodologies for determination of OH-PBDEs are currently limited. In this study a robust liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem triple quadrupole-linear ion trap mass spectrometer (LC-ESI-QqLIT-MS-MS) in negative mode method was developed for the determination of eleven OH-tri- to OH-hexa-PBDEs. Two different columns were tested and compared for chromatographic separation: a C18 BetaBasic and a Purospher STAR RP 18, working at pH 8 and 10, respectively. Mobile phase (acetonitrile:water) was optimized by changing the pH of the aqueous phase and the concentration of the organic modifier (methanol). The MS-MS parameters (declustering potential (DP), collision energy (CE) and cell exit potential (CXP)) were optimized. Selected reaction monitoring (SRM) was used in order to increase sensitivity. Two SRM transitions ([M-H]->[Br]-) were selected for each OH-PBDE, one for quantification and the second one for confirmation. Under the optimized conditions, the instrumental limits of detection were between 0.17 and 0.72injectedpg. The method provided good linearity (r>0.99 for a concentration range of 0.30-100ng/mL), accuracy and precision (%Dev and %RSD≤20% for intra- and inter-assays). © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Badia-Fabregat M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Lucas D.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Gros M.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Rodriguez-Mozaz S.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Hazardous Materials | Year: 2015

Many technologies are being developed for the efficient removal of micropollutants from wastewater and, among them, fungal degradation is one of the possible alternative biological treatments. In this article, some factors that might affect pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) removal in a fungal treatment of real wastewater were identified in batch bioreactor treating reverse osmosis concentrate (ROC) from urban wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). We found that degradation of PhACs by Trametes versicolor was enhanced by addition of external nutrients (global removal of 44%). Moreover, our results point out that high aeration might be involved in the increase in the concentration of some PhACs. In fact, conjugation and deconjugation processes (among others) affect the removal assessment of emerging contaminants when working with real concentrations in comparison to experiments with spiked samples. Moreover, factors that could affect the quantification of micropollutants at lab-scale experiments were studied. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Lucas D.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Badia-Fabregat M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Vicent T.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Caminal G.,CSIC - Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia | And 4 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2016

The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance represents one of the most important public health concerns and has been linked to the widespread use of antibiotics in veterinary and human medicine. The overall elimination of antibiotics in conventional wastewater treatment plants is quite low; therefore, residual amounts of these compounds are continuously discharged to receiving surface waters, which may promote the emergence of antibiotic resistance. In this study, the ability of a fungal treatment as an alternative wastewater treatment for the elimination of forty-seven antibiotics belonging to seven different groups (β-lactams, fluoroquinolones, macrolides, metronidazoles, sulfonamides, tetracyclines, and trimethoprim) was evaluated. 77% of antibiotics were removed after the fungal treatment, which is higher than removal obtained in conventional treatment plants. Moreover, the effect of fungal treatment on the removal of some antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) was evaluated. The fungal treatment was also efficient in removing ARGs, such as ermB (resistance to macrolides), tetW (resistance to tetracyclines), blaTEM (resistance to β-lactams), sulI (resistance to sulfonamides) and qnrS (reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones). However, it was not possible to establish a clear link between concentrations of antibiotics and corresponding ARGs in wastewater, which leads to the conclusion that there are other factors that should be taken into consideration besides the antibiotic concentrations that reach aquatic ecosystems in order to explain the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Gros M.,CSIRO | Gros M.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Williams M.,CSIRO | Llorca M.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2015

Attenuation of pharmaceuticals due to natural sunlight is expected to be an important removal pathway in wastewater treatment plants using treatment lagoon systems. In this work, the photolysis of two antidepressants, amisulpride and desipramine, has been investigated in both ultrapure water and wastewater under simulated solar irradiation. Results showed that for amisulpride short irradiation times (t1/2 approximately 3h in pure water and 4h in wastewater) were adequate to degrade the parent compound while a longer exposure period was required for desipramine (t1/2 of approximately 36h in pure water), although its degradation is enhanced almost three times by indirect photolysis in wastewaters. A significant number of transformation products (TPs) were identified for both pharmaceuticals by high-resolution mass spectrometry. In general, TPs formed are not persistent although acute toxicity tests for desipramine and its TPs showed an increase of the mixture toxicity after solar irradiation, suggesting that some TPs may be more toxic than the parent compound. In wastewaters collected from treatment lagoons, only amisulpride and one of its major TPs, TP 357, were detected. This indicates that long solar exposure times may be necessary for an effective elimination of these substances in lagoon systems or that photolysis may not be the main removal pathway for these particular compounds. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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