Author(s): Styrishave B, HallingSrensen B, Ingerslev F
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Abstract We present an environmental risk assessment of three selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs; citalopram, sertraline, and fluoxetine) in the aquatic environment based on two case scenarios. Abiotic and biotic degradation experiments and sorption estimates were used to predict environmental concentrations of three SSRIs from the wastewater of two psychiatric hospitals, the primary sector, and wastewater entering and leaving wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Assuming a sewage treatment retention time of 8 h, abiotic degradation was low, for all three SSRIs inhibitors, ranging between 0 and 2\% for hydrolysis and 0 and 6\% for photolysis. The biodegradation was also slow, ranging from 0 to 3\% within an 8-h period. In untreated sewage, citalopram (CIT) and sertraline (SER) concentrations may be high enough to exert effects on the aquatic biota (CIT: 0.19-10.3 µg/L; SER: 0.14-17.1 µg/L). Removal of the pharmaceuticals is due primarily to sorption in the WWTP. Sertraline was estimated to have the highest concentrations in the sewage effluents, 4.4 and 19.9 ng/L for the two cases, respectively. In treated wastewater, individual SSRI concentrations are probably too low to exert effects on biota. By using concentration addition, a cocktail exposure scenario was estimated. The predicted concentration in the biota calculated from the cocktail effect was 0.05 and 0.16 nmol/g for the two cases, respectively, and SER was found to give the highest contribution to this cocktail effect. The results indicate that the concentrations in the wastewater effluents are one to two orders of magnitude lower than the concentrations likely to cause an effect in the aquatic biota. © 2010 SETAC.
This article was published in Environ Toxicol Chem
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques