Daily Archives: October 24, 2013

Pharmaceuticals in US wastewater treatment plant effluents

Kostich MS, Batt AL, Lazorchak JM. Concentrations of prioritized pharmaceuticals in effluents from 50 large wastewater treatment plants in the US and implications for risk estimation. Environ Pollut. 2013 Oct 2;184C:354-359. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2013.09.013.

We measured concentrations of 56 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in effluent samples from 50 large wastewater treatment plants across the US. Hydrochlorothiazide was found in every sample. Metoprolol, atenolol, and carbamazepine were found in over 90% of the samples. Valsartan had the highest concentration (5300 ng/L), and also had the highest average concentration (1600 ng/L) across all 50 samples. Estimates of potential risks to healthy human adults were greatest for six anti-hypertensive APIs (lisinopril, hydrochlorothiazide, valsartan, atenolol, enalaprilat, and metoprolol), but nevertheless suggest risks of exposure to individual APIs as well as their mixtures are generally very low. Estimates of potential risks to aquatic life were also low for most APIs, but suggest more detailed study of potential ecological impacts from four analytes (sertraline, propranolol, desmethylsertraline, and valsartan).

Click here for full paper (fee).