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      Estimación del consumo de drogas de abuso y sus metabolitos a partir de su presencia en el agua residual de Talavera de la Reina y en el ríoTajo Translated title: Evaluation of the Efficacy of the Sewage Treatment Plant of Toledo, Spain in the Elimination of Drugs of Abuse and the Estimation of Consumption


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          Fundamentos: en los últimos años se ha evidenciado la presencia de nuevos contaminantes en el agua, existiendo pocos estudios que analicen dicha presencia. Los objetivos fueron determinar drogas de abuso (DAs) y sus metabolitos en el influente y efluente de la Estación Depuradora de Aguas Residuales (EDAR) de Talavera de la Reina y en el río Tajo, evaluar el rendimiento de la EDAR en la eliminación de estas sustancias y estimar el consumo de drogas en la ciudad de Talavera. Métodos: el muestreo fue realizado, el día 28 de Junio de 2010. En todas las muestras se analizaron 5 grupos de drogas (10 DAs y 9 metabolitos). Se calculó el rendimiento a partir del porcentaje de reducción de la concentración a la entrada y salida de la EDAR y el consumo de drogas a partir de las concentraciones del influente y utilizando una metodología específica, basada en la asunción de que las drogas después de ser consumidas y metabolizadas en el cuerpo humano, son excretadas como compuestos principales o metabolitos, cuyas rutas metabólicas son conocidas; y que la cantidad de droga o metabolito cuantificado corresponde con la dosis consumida. Resultados: se detectaron 10 sustancias. La presencia de Benzoiclegonina (BE) (metabolito de la cocaína), efedrina, y metadona junto su metabolito EDDP fue hallada en todas las muestras. Las mayores concentraciones fueron de BE (239 ng/L), y de THC-COOH (35 ng/L), ambas en influente. En el río Tajo las concentraciones mas altas fueron de BE (5,38 ng/L) y EDDP (4,4 ng/L). El rendimiento de la EDAR fue mayor del 80% para todas las sustancias excepto para metadona (que fue nulo) y EDDP (con mayor concentración en el efluente de la EDAR). Las sustancias más consumidas fueron cannabis (THC) (1,88 g/día) y cocaína (0,46 g/día). Conclusiones: Se detectó la presencia de DAs en el río Tajo a su paso por Talavera de la Reina, lo que evidencia que estas sustancias no son eliminadas totalmente por la EDAR. El consumo de drogas estimado indica que la población de Talavera consume principalmente cannabis y cocaína. Demostrando que esta metodología puede complementar las encuestas sobre consumo de drogas.

          Translated abstract

          Background: in the last years, the presence of new contaminants in water has been rising. There are only few studies which analyze such presence. The aims were to determine the occurrence of drugs of abuse and their metabolites in the influent and effluent of the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in Talavera de la Reina, and the River Tagus, as well as to evaluate the STP removal efficiency in the elimination of these substances and to estimate the consumption of drugs in Talavera. Methods: whe samples were taken on June 28, 2010. The presence of 5 groups of drugs (10 drugs of abuse and 9 metabolites) was quantified. The efficiency was calculated from the percentage of reduction of the concentration in the influent and effluent of the STP. Drug consumption was calculated from influent concentrations. Using a specific methodology, based on the assumption the drugs after they are consumed and metabolized in the human body are excreted as parent compounds or metabolites. Whose metabolic pathways are known, and the amount of drug or metabolite quantified corresponds to the dose consumed. Results: ten substances were detected. In all sampling points appeared: Benzoiclegonina (BE) (cocaine metabolite), ephedrine, methadone and its metabolite EDDP. The highest concentrations were of BE (239 ng/L), and THC-COOH (35 ng/L), both in influent. In the Tagus River, the highest concentrations were of BE (5.38 ng/L) and EDDP (4.4 ng/L). The STP removal efficiency was up to 80% for all substances except for methadone (which was zero) and EDDP (increasing to leave the STP). The estimated consumption shows that the most consumed substances were cannabis (1.88 grams / day) and cocaine (0.46 grams / day). Conclusions: the presence of drugs of abuse in River Tagus in Talavera demonstrates that these substances are not eliminated completly by STPs. Drug consumption estimate indicates that the population of Talavera mainly consumed cannabis and cocaine. Thus this methodology can complement epidemiological surveys.

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          Estimating Community Drug Abuse by Wastewater Analysis

          Background The social and medical problems of drug abuse are a matter of increasing global concern. To tackle drug abuse in changing scenarios, international drug agencies need fresh methods to monitor trends and patterns of illicit drug consumption. Objective We tested a sewage epidemiology approach, using levels of excreted drug residues in wastewater, to monitor collective use of the major drugs of abuse in near real time. Methods Selected drug target residues derived from use of cocaine, opiates, cannabis, and amphetamines were measured by mass spectrometry in wastewater collected at major sewage treatment plants in Milan (Italy), Lugano (Switzerland), and London (United Kingdom). The amounts of drug residues conveyed to the treatment plants, reflecting the amounts collectively excreted with urine, were used to estimate consumption of the active parent drugs. Results Reproducible and characteristic profiles of illicit drug use were obtained in the three cities, thus for the first time quickly revealing changes in local consumption (e.g., cocaine consumption rose significantly on weekends in Milan). Profiles of local drug consumption based on waste-water measurements are in line with national annual prevalence estimates. Conclusions Patterns and trends of drug abuse in local communities can be promptly monitored by this tool, a convenient new complement to more complex, lengthy survey methods. In principle, searching the sewage for excreted compounds relevant to public health issues appears to have the potential to become a convenient source of real-time epidemiologic information.
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            Efficiency of conventional drinking-water-treatment processes in removal of pharmaceuticals and other organic compounds.

            Samples of water and sediment from a conventional drinking-water-treatment (DWT) plant were analyzed for 113 organic compounds (OCs) that included pharmaceuticals, detergent degradates, flame retardants and plasticizers, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), fragrances and flavorants, pesticides and an insect repellent, and plant and animal steroids. 45 of these compounds were detected in samples of source water and 34 were detected in samples of settled sludge and (or) filter-backwash sediments. The average percent removal of these compounds was calculated from their average concentration in time-composited water samples collected after clarification, disinfection (chlorination), and granular-activated-carbon (GAC) filtration. In general, GAC filtration accounted for 53% of the removal of these compounds from the aqueous phase; disinfection accounted for 32%, and clarification accounted for 15%. The effectiveness of these treatments varied widely within and among classes of compounds; some hydrophobic compounds were strongly oxidized by free chlorine, and some hydrophilic compounds were partly removed through adsorption processes. The detection of 21 of the compounds in 1 or more samples of finished water, and of 3 to 13 compounds in every finished-water sample, indicates substantial but incomplete degradation or removal of OCs through the conventional DWT process used at this plant.
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              Cocaine in surface waters: a new evidence-based tool to monitor community drug abuse

              Background Cocaine use seems to be increasing in some urban areas worldwide, but it is not straightforward to determine the real extent of this phenomenon. Trends in drug abuse are currently estimated indirectly, mainly by large-scale social, medical, and crime statistics that may be biased or too generic. We thus tested a more direct approach based on 'field' evidence of cocaine use by the general population. Methods Cocaine and its main urinary metabolite (benzoylecgonine, BE) were measured by mass spectrometry in water samples collected from the River Po and urban waste water treatment plants of medium-size Italian cities. Drug concentration, water flow rate, and population at each site were used to estimate local cocaine consumption. Results We showed that cocaine and BE are present, and measurable, in surface waters of populated areas. The largest Italian river, the Po, with a five-million people catchment basin, steadily carried the equivalent of about 4 kg cocaine per day. This would imply an average daily use of at least 27 ± 5 doses (100 mg each) for every 1000 young adults, an estimate that greatly exceeds official national figures. Data from waste water treatment plants serving medium-size Italian cities were consistent with this figure. Conclusion This paper shows for the first time that an illicit drug, cocaine, is present in the aquatic environment, namely untreated urban waste water and a major river. We used environmental cocaine levels for estimating collective consumption of the drug, an approach with the unique potential ability to monitor local drug abuse trends in real time, while preserving the anonymity of individuals. The method tested here – in principle extendable to other drugs of abuse – might be further refined to become a standardized, objective tool for monitoring drug abuse.

                Author and article information

                Revista Española de Salud Pública
                Rev. Esp. Salud Publica
                Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar social (Madrid, Madrid, Spain )
                April 2014
                : 88
                : 2
                : 289-299
                [01] orgnameUniversidad Rey Juan Carlos orgdiv1Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud orgdiv2Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Salud Pública, Inmunología y Microbiología Médica
                [02] Talavera de la Reina orgnameConsejería de Salud y Bienestar Social de Castilla-La Mancha orgdiv1Instituto de Ciencias de la Salud
                S1135-57272014000200011 S1135-5727(14)08800200011

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 International License.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 31, Pages: 11

                SciELO Public Health

                Consumo,Surface waters,Aguas superficiales,Drogas ilícitas,Plantas de Tratamiento de agua,Illicit drugs,Consumer,Water treatment plants


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