Widespread occurrence of neuro-active pharmaceuticals and metabolites in 24 Minnesota rivers and wastewaters

Science of the Total Environment
By: , and 

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Abstract

Concentrations of 17 neuro-active pharmaceuticals and their major metabolites (bupropion, hydroxy-bupropion, erythro-hydrobupropion, threo-hydrobupropion, carbamazepine, 10,11,-dihydro-10,11,-dihydroxycarbamazepine, 10-hydroxy-carbamazepine, citalopram, N-desmethyl-citalopram, fluoxetine, norfluoxetine, gabapentin, lamotrigine, 2-N-glucuronide-lamotrigine, oxcarbazepine, venlafaxine and O-desmethyl-venlafaxine), were measured in treated wastewater and receiving surface waters from 24 locations across Minnesota, USA. The analysis of upstream and downstream sampling sites indicated that the wastewater treatment plants were the major source of the neuro-active pharmaceuticals and associated metabolites in surface waters of Minnesota. Concentrations of parent compound and the associated metabolite varied substantially between treatment plants (concentrations ± standard deviation of the parent compound relative to its major metabolite) as illustrated by the following examples; bupropion and hydrobupropion 700 ± 1000 ng L−1, 2100 ± 1700 ng L−1, carbamazepine and 10-hydroxy-carbamazepine 480 ± 380 ng L−1, 360 ± 400 ng L−1, venlafaxine and O-desmethyl-venlafaxine 1400 ± 1300 ng L−1, 1800 ± 2300 ng L−1. Metabolites of the neuro-active compounds were commonly found at higher or comparable concentrations to the parent compounds in wastewater effluent and the receiving surface water. Neuro-active pharmaceuticals and associated metabolites were detected only sporadically in samples upstream from the effluent outfall. Metabolite to parent ratios were used to evaluate transformation, and we determined that ratios in wastewater were much lower than those reported in urine, indicating that the metabolites are relatively more labile than the parent compounds in the treatment plants and in receiving waters. The widespread occurrence of neuro-active pharmaceuticals and metabolites in Minnesota effluents and surface waters indicate that this is likely a global environmental issue, and further understanding of the environmental fate and impacts of these compounds is warranted.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Widespread occurrence of neuro-active pharmaceuticals and metabolites in 24 Minnesota rivers and wastewaters
Series title Science of the Total Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.04.099.
Volume 461-462
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Elsevier Pub. Co.
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 9 p.
First page 519
Last page 527
Country United States
State Minnesota
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N