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Pharmaceuticals and iodinated contrast media in a hospital wastewater: A case study to analyse their presence and characterise their environmental risk and hazard

This work analyses the presence of twenty-five pharmaceutical compounds belonging to seven different therapeutic groups and one iodinated contrast media (ICM) in a Spanish medium-size hospital located in the Valencia Region. Analysis of the target compounds in the hospital wastewater was performed by means of solid phase extraction (SPE) followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis (HPLC-MS/MS). A screening level risk assessment combining the measured environmental concentrations (MECs) with dose-response data based on Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) was also applied to estimate Hazard Quotients (HQs) for the compounds investigated. Additionally, the environmental hazard associated to the various compounds measured was assessed through the calculation of the Persistence, Bioaccumulation and Toxicity (PBT) Index, which categorizes compounds according to their environmentally damaging characteristics. The results of the study showed the presence of twenty-four out of the twenty-six compounds analysed at individual concentrations ranging from 5ngL-1 to 2mgL-1. The highest concentrations corresponded to the ICM iomeprol, found at levels between 424 and 2093μgL-1, the analgesic acetaminophen (15-44μgL-1), the diuretic (DIU) furosemide (6-15μgL-1), and the antibiotics (ABIs) ofloxacin and trimethoprim (2-5μgL-1). The lowest levels corresponded to the anti-inflammatory propyphenazone, found at concentrations between 5 and 44ngL-1. Differences in terms of concentrations of the analysed compounds have been observed in all the therapeutic groups when comparing the results obtained in this and other recent studies carried out in hospitals with different characteristics from different geographical areas and in different seasons. The screening level risk assessment performed in raw water from the hospital effluent showed that the analgesics and anti-inflammatories (AAFs) acetaminophen, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen, the antibiotics (ABIs) clarithromycin, ofloxacin and trimethoprim, and the β-blocker (BBL) propranolol were present at concentrations leading to HQ values higher than 10, thus indicating high risk. When applying a factor to take into account potential dilution and degradation processes, only the compound ibuprofen showed a HQ higher than 1. Likewise, the cumulative HQ or Toxic Units (TUs) calculated in the raw water for each of the therapeutic groups studied showed that these three classes of drugs were at concentrations high enough to potentially generate high risk to aquatic organisms while taking into account possible dilution and degradation processes only one of them, the AAFs can be considered to represent high risk. Finally, the environmental hazard assessment performed showed that the AAFs diclofenac and ibuprofen and the ABI clarithromycin have the highest, maximum value of 9 of PBT Index due to their inherent environmentally damaging characteristics of persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity.The methodology followed in the present case study can be taken as a novel approach to classify and categorize pharmaceuticals on the basis of their occurrence in hospital effluents, their derived environmental risks, and their associated environmental hazard. This classification becomes important because it can be used as a model or orientation for hospitals in the process of developing environmentally sustainable policies and as an argument to justify the adoption of advanced, specific treatments for hospital effluents before being discharged into the public sewage system

The authors would like to thankt he financial support provided by the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness through the CarlosIII Health Institute with the program “Projects on Health Research 2011-2012 FIS(PI11/00180)” and through the SCARCE project (Consolider-Ingenio2010CSD2009-00065), the European Commission through the project SOLUTIONS (contract 603437),as well as the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Consolidated Research Groups “2014SGR418-Water and Soil Quality Unit” and 2014 SGR 291-ICRA65)

© Environmental Research, 2015, vol. 140, p. 225-241

Elsevier

Manager: Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Espanya)
Author: Mendoza, A.
Aceña, Jaume
Pérez, Sandra
López de Alda, Miren
Barceló i Cullerés, Damià
Gil, A.
Valcárcel, Y.
Date: 2015 July
Abstract: This work analyses the presence of twenty-five pharmaceutical compounds belonging to seven different therapeutic groups and one iodinated contrast media (ICM) in a Spanish medium-size hospital located in the Valencia Region. Analysis of the target compounds in the hospital wastewater was performed by means of solid phase extraction (SPE) followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis (HPLC-MS/MS). A screening level risk assessment combining the measured environmental concentrations (MECs) with dose-response data based on Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) was also applied to estimate Hazard Quotients (HQs) for the compounds investigated. Additionally, the environmental hazard associated to the various compounds measured was assessed through the calculation of the Persistence, Bioaccumulation and Toxicity (PBT) Index, which categorizes compounds according to their environmentally damaging characteristics. The results of the study showed the presence of twenty-four out of the twenty-six compounds analysed at individual concentrations ranging from 5ngL-1 to 2mgL-1. The highest concentrations corresponded to the ICM iomeprol, found at levels between 424 and 2093μgL-1, the analgesic acetaminophen (15-44μgL-1), the diuretic (DIU) furosemide (6-15μgL-1), and the antibiotics (ABIs) ofloxacin and trimethoprim (2-5μgL-1). The lowest levels corresponded to the anti-inflammatory propyphenazone, found at concentrations between 5 and 44ngL-1. Differences in terms of concentrations of the analysed compounds have been observed in all the therapeutic groups when comparing the results obtained in this and other recent studies carried out in hospitals with different characteristics from different geographical areas and in different seasons. The screening level risk assessment performed in raw water from the hospital effluent showed that the analgesics and anti-inflammatories (AAFs) acetaminophen, diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen, the antibiotics (ABIs) clarithromycin, ofloxacin and trimethoprim, and the β-blocker (BBL) propranolol were present at concentrations leading to HQ values higher than 10, thus indicating high risk. When applying a factor to take into account potential dilution and degradation processes, only the compound ibuprofen showed a HQ higher than 1. Likewise, the cumulative HQ or Toxic Units (TUs) calculated in the raw water for each of the therapeutic groups studied showed that these three classes of drugs were at concentrations high enough to potentially generate high risk to aquatic organisms while taking into account possible dilution and degradation processes only one of them, the AAFs can be considered to represent high risk. Finally, the environmental hazard assessment performed showed that the AAFs diclofenac and ibuprofen and the ABI clarithromycin have the highest, maximum value of 9 of PBT Index due to their inherent environmentally damaging characteristics of persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity.The methodology followed in the present case study can be taken as a novel approach to classify and categorize pharmaceuticals on the basis of their occurrence in hospital effluents, their derived environmental risks, and their associated environmental hazard. This classification becomes important because it can be used as a model or orientation for hospitals in the process of developing environmentally sustainable policies and as an argument to justify the adoption of advanced, specific treatments for hospital effluents before being discharged into the public sewage system
The authors would like to thankt he financial support provided by the Spanish Ministry for Economy and Competitiveness through the CarlosIII Health Institute with the program “Projects on Health Research 2011-2012 FIS(PI11/00180)” and through the SCARCE project (Consolider-Ingenio2010CSD2009-00065), the European Commission through the project SOLUTIONS (contract 603437),as well as the support of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Consolidated Research Groups “2014SGR418-Water and Soil Quality Unit” and 2014 SGR 291-ICRA65)
Format: application/pdf
ISSN: 0013-9351 (versió paper)
1096-0953 (versió electrònica)
Document access: http://hdl.handle.net/10256/12586
Language: eng
Publisher: Elsevier
Collection: MICINN/PN 2009-2014/CSD2009-00065
Reproducció digital del document publicat a: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2015.04.003
Articles publicats (ICRA)
Is part of: © Environmental Research, 2015, vol. 140, p. 225-241
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Subject: Aigües residuals
Sewage
Contaminants
Pollutants
Contaminació -- Aspectes ambientals
Pollution -- Environmental aspects
Title: Pharmaceuticals and iodinated contrast media in a hospital wastewater: A case study to analyse their presence and characterise their environmental risk and hazard
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Repository: DUGiDocs

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