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Pharmaceutical residues are widespread in Baltic Sea coastal and offshore waters – Screening for pharmaceuticals and modelling of environmental concentrations of carbamazepine
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Industrial Biotechnology.
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2018 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 633, p. 1496-1509Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The consumption of pharmaceuticals worldwide coupled with modest removal efficiencies of sewage treatment plants have resulted in the presence of pharmaceuticals in aquatic systems globally. In this study, we investigated the environmental concentrations of a selection of 93 pharmaceuticals in 43 locations in the Baltic Sea and Skagerrak. The Baltic Sea is vulnerable to anthropogenic activities due to a long turnover time and a sensitive ecosystem in the brackish water. Thirty-nine of 93 pharmaceuticals were detected in at least one sample, with concentrations ranging between 0.01 and 80 ng/L. One of the pharmaceuticals investigated, the anti-epileptic drug carbamazepine, was widespread in coastal and offshore seawaters (present in 37 of 43 samples). In order to predict concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the sub-basins of the Baltic Sea, a mass balance-based grey box model was set up and the persistent, widely used carbamazepine was selected as the model substance. The model was based on hydrological and meteorological sub-basin characteristics, removal data from smaller watersheds and wastewater treatment plants, and statistics relating to population, consumption and excretion rate of carbamazepine in humans. The grey box model predicted average environmental concentrations of carbamazepine in sub-basins with no significant difference from the measured concentrations, amounting to 0.57-3.2 ng/L depending on sub-basin location. In the Baltic Sea, the removal rate of carbamazepine in seawater was estimated to be 6.2 10(-9) s(-1) based on a calculated half-life time of 3.5 years at 10 degrees C, which demonstrates the long response time of the environment to measures phasing out persistent or slowly degradable substances such as carbamazepine. Sampling, analysis and grey box modelling were all valuable in describing the presence and removal of carbamazepine in the Baltic Sea.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 633, p. 1496-1509
Keywords [en]
Baltic Sea, Carbamazepine, Coastal and offshore waters, Half-life time, Model, Pharmaceuticals
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-227511DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.276ISI: 000432475300145PubMedID: 29758901Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85044791102OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-227511DiVA, id: diva2:1206217
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Note

QC 20180516

Available from: 2018-05-16 Created: 2018-05-16 Last updated: 2018-05-31Bibliographically approved

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Björlenius, Berndt

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