Ecotoxicity of carbamazepine and its UV photolysis transformation products

Donner, Erica, Kosjek, Tina, Qualmann, Signe, Kusk, Kresten Ole, Heath, Ester, Revitt, D. Mike, Ledin, Anna and Andersen, Henrik Ramus (2013) Ecotoxicity of carbamazepine and its UV photolysis transformation products. Science of the Total Environment, 443 . pp. 870-876. ISSN 0048-9697 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.11.059)

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Carbamazepine, an anti-epileptic pharmaceutical agent commonly found in wastewater, is highly recalcitrant to standard wastewater treatment practices. This study investigated the mixture toxicity of carbamazepine transformation products formed during UV photolysis using three standard ecotoxicity assays (representing bacteria, algae and crustaceans). UV-treatment of 6 mg L-1 carbamazepine solution was carried out over a 120 min period and samples were removed periodically over the course of the experiment. Quantification results confirmed the degradation of carbamazepine throughout the treatment period, together with concurrent increases in acridine and acridone concentrations. Ecotoxicity was shown to increase in parallel with carbamazepine degradation indicating that the mixture of degradation products formed was more toxic than the parent compound. In fact, ecotoxicity was still greater than 60 % for all three endpoints even when the carbamazepine concentration had decreased to < 1 % of the starting concentration, and acridine and acridone had decreased to < 10 % of their maximum measured concentrations. Single compound toxicity testing also confirmed the higher toxicity of measured degradation products relative to the parent compound. These results show that transformation products considerably more toxic than carbamazepine itself are likely to be produced during UV treatment of wastewater effluents and/or photo-induced degradation of carbamazepine in natural waters. This study highlights the need to consider mixture toxicity and the formation and persistence of toxicologically relevant transformation products when assessing the environmental risks posed by pharmaceutical compounds.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 14565
Notes on copyright: Already in Repository but Post-print version now included as allowed by publisher (as indicated in Sherpa/Romeo)
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Depositing User: Mike Revitt
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2015 15:50
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 00:16

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