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Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2013 Aug;91(2):171-6. doi: 10.1007/s00128-013-1030-7. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

Determination of levels of current drugs in hospital and urban wastewater.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Pharmacocinétique et de Toxicologie Cliniques, Groupe Hospitalier du Havre, BP 24, 76083 Le Havre, France.


A rapid, sensitive and highly specific HPLC-MS/MS method with direct on-line preparation was applied for the determination of 20 common pharmaceuticals in hospital and urban wastewater. Median drug concentrations were quite similar in the majority of samples, cerca 1 μg L⁻¹ ranging from 0.06 to 2.67 μg L⁻¹ in both water. Pharmaceutical hospital contribution, below 1 %, was negligible, as compared to the huge amount in the municipal plant flow. Due to only partial elimination in the plant, hundreds of kilograms of harmful waste per year are discharged in the River Seine. Therefore, to reduce potential human and environmental exposure, a topic of major concern, an efficient drug treatment procedure should be used at the municipal plant stage in order to reduce urban wastewater pollution. The HPLC-MS/MS method could be a very useful tool to optimize the pharmaceutical wastewater treatment process.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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