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Environ Pollut. 2014 Apr;187:170-81. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.01.005. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

Prevalence and sunlight photolysis of controlled and chemotherapeutic drugs in aqueous environments.

Author information

  • 1Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University, 71, Chou-Shan Rd., Taipei 106, Taiwan. Electronic address: yuchenlin@ntu.edu.tw.
  • 2Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University, 71, Chou-Shan Rd., Taipei 106, Taiwan.

Abstract

This study addresses the occurrences and natural fates of chemotherapeutics and controlled drugs when found together in hospital effluents and surface waters. The results revealed the presence of 11 out of 16 drugs in hospital effluents, and the maximum detected concentrations were at the μg L(-1) level in the hospital effluents and the ng L(-1) level in surface waters. The highest concentrations corresponded to meperidine, morphine, 5-fluorouracil and cyclophosphamide. The sunlight photolysis of the target compounds was investigated, and the results indicated that morphine and codeine can be significantly attenuated, with half-lives of 0.27 and 2.5 h, respectively, in natural waters. Photolysis can lower the detected environmental concentrations, also lowering the estimated environmental risks of the target drugs to human health. Nevertheless, 5-fluorouracil and codeine were found to have a high risk quotient (RQ), demonstrating the high risks of directly releasing hospital wastewater into the environment.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Chemotherapeutic drugs; Controlled drugs; Natural attenuation; Occurrence; Sunlight photolysis

PMID:
24508644
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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