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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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

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. Source

Gonzalez O.,University of Barcelona | Bayarri B.,University of Barcelona | Acena J.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | Perez S.,Water and Soil Quality Research Group | And 2 more authors.
Handbook of Environmental Chemistry | Year: 2016

The presence of thousands of microcontaminants in wastewaters and their potential risks has drawn a large attention of the scientific community during the last years. The presence of these contaminants is especially controversial when wastewater is considered for reuse because a large number of microcontaminants are frequently not totally removed by conventional wastewater treatment processes. As a contribution to the knowledge in this field, this chapter focuses on the application of four well-known and widely used technologies to the elimination of microcontaminants. Membranes, activated carbon, ozonation, and advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are deeply reviewed to assess their efficiency and safety in the elimination of these contaminants from wastewater effluents. A brief description of each technology is presented together with a review of their real application, mostly in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). A deep analysis of the found data allows to conclude that the four presented alternatives can be useful for microcontaminant mitigation although none of them seem to be a universal barrier for microcontaminants when used separately. In addition, each technology presents drawbacks which demand further research to be overcome. Depending on the final use of reclaimed water, the treatment may require the combination of several of the studied technologies although that results in an economic impact which cannot be neglected. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Source

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