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Fate and Uptake of Pharmaceuticals in Soil–Plant Systems

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      Pharmaceuticals have been detected in the soil environment where there is the potential for uptake into crops. This study explored the fate and uptake of pharmaceuticals (carbamazepine, diclofenac, fluoxetine, propranolol, sulfamethazine) and a personal care product (triclosan) in soil–plant systems using radish ( Raphanus sativus ) and ryegrass ( Lolium perenne). Five of the six chemicals were detected in plant tissue. Carbamazepine was taken up to the greatest extent in both the radish (52 μg/g) and ryegrass (33 μg/g), whereas sulfamethazine uptake was below the limit of quantitation (LOQ) (<0.01 μg/g). In the soil, concentrations of diclofenac and sulfamethazine dropped below the LOQ after 7 days. However, all pharmaceuticals were still detectable in the pore water at the end of the experiment. The results demonstrate the ability of plant species to accumulate pharmaceuticals from soils with uptake apparently specific to both plant species and chemical. Results can be partly explained by the hydrophobicity and extent of ionization of each chemical in the soil.

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      Occurrence and removal of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors in South Korean surface, drinking, and waste waters.

      Liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) with electrospray ionization (ESI) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) was used to measure the concentrations of 14 pharmaceuticals, 6 hormones, 2 antibiotics, 3 personal care products (PCPs), and 1 flame retardant in surface waters and wastewater treatment plant effluents in South Korea. Tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), iopromide, naproxen, carbamazepine, and caffeine were quite frequently observed (>80%) in both surface waters and effluents. The analytes of greatest concentration were iopromide, TCEP, sulfamethoxazole, and carbamazepine. However, the primary estrogen hormones, 17alpha-ethynylestradiol and 17beta-estradiol, were rarely detected, while estrone was detected in both surface water and wastewater effluent. The elimination of these chemicals during drinking water and wastewater treatment processes at full- and pilot-scale also was investigated. Conventional drinking water treatment methods were relatively inefficient for contaminant removal, while efficient removal (approximately equal to 99%) was achieved by granular activated carbon (GAC). In wastewater treatment processes, membrane bioreactors (MBR) showed limited target compound removal, but were effective at eliminating hormones and some pharmaceuticals (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and caffeine). Membrane filtration processes using reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) showed excellent removal (>95%) for all target analytes.
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        Persistence of pharmaceutical compounds and other organic wastewater contaminants in a conventional drinking-water-treatment plant.

        In a study conducted by the US Geological Survey and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 water samples were collected at selected locations within a drinking-water-treatment (DWT) facility and from the two streams that serve the facility to evaluate the potential for wastewater-related organic contaminants to survive a conventional treatment process and persist in potable-water supplies. Stream-water samples as well as samples of raw, settled, filtered, and finished water were collected during low-flow conditions, when the discharge of effluent from upstream municipal sewage-treatment plants accounted for 37-67% of flow in stream 1 and 10-20% of flow in stream 2. Each sample was analyzed for 106 organic wastewater-related contaminants (OWCs) that represent a diverse group of extensively used chemicals. Forty OWCs were detected in one or more samples of stream water or raw-water supplies in the treatment plant; 34 were detected in more than 10% of these samples. Several of these compounds also were frequently detected in samples of finished water; these compounds include selected prescription and non-prescription drugs and their metabolites, fragrance compounds, flame retardants and plasticizers, cosmetic compounds, and a solvent. The detection of these compounds suggests that they resist removal through conventional water-treatment processes. Other compounds that also were frequently detected in samples of stream water and raw-water supplies were not detected in samples of finished water; these include selected prescription and non-prescription drugs and their metabolites, disinfectants, detergent metabolites, and plant and animal steroids. The non-detection of these compounds indicates that their concentrations are reduced to levels less than analytical detection limits or that they are transformed to degradates through conventional DWT processes. Concentrations of OWCs detected in finished water generally were low and did not exceed Federal drinking-water standards or lifetime health advisories, although such standards or advisories have not been established for most of these compounds. Also, at least 11 and as many as 17 OWCs were detected in samples of finished water. Drinking-water criteria currently are based on the toxicity of individual compounds and not combinations of compounds. Little is known about potential human-health effects associated with chronic exposure to trace levels of multiple OWCs through routes such as drinking water. The occurrence in drinking-water supplies of many of the OWCs analyzed for during this study is unregulated and most of these compounds have not been routinely monitored for in the Nation's source- or potable-water supplies. This study provides the first documentation that many of these compounds can survive conventional water-treatment processes and occur in potable-water supplies. It thereby provides information that can be used in setting research and regulatory priorities and in designing future monitoring programs. The results of this study also indicate that improvements in water-treatment processes may benefit from consideration of the response of OWCs and other trace organic contaminants to specific physical and chemical treatments.
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          Assessing risk of heavy metals from consuming food grown on sewage irrigated soils and food chain transfer.

          Heavy metal pollution of soils resulting from sewage and wastewater irrigation is causing major concern due to the potential risk involved. In the present study Musi River and its environs were assessed for heavy metal contamination. The study area was assessed for Zn, Cr, Cu, Ni, Co and Pb in soils, forage grass, milk from cattle, leafy and non-leafy vegetables. Partitioning pattern of soil revealed high levels of Zn, Cr, and Cu associated with labile fractions, making them more mobile and plant available. The associated risk was assessed using hazard quotient (HQ). Human risk was assessed in people known to consume these contaminated foods by analyzing metals concentrations in venous blood and urine. Results showed high amounts of Pb, Zn, Cr, and Ni compared to permissible limits. HQ was found to be high for Zn followed by Cr and Pb with special reference to leafy vegetables particularly spinach and amaranthus.

            Author and article information

            []Environment Department, University of York , Heslington, York, U.K. YO10 5DD
            []Cranfield University , Cranfield, Bedford, U.K. MK43 0AL
            [§ ]CSIRO Land and Water, Waite Campus, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 5064
            [# ]EHS Technical CoE, GlaxoSmithKline, Ware, U.K. SG12 0DP
            Author notes
            J Agric Food Chem
            J. Agric. Food Chem
            Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
            American Chemical Society
            09 January 2014
            29 January 2014
            : 62
            : 4
            : 816-825
            Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society
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