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Environ Pollut. 2006 Jul;142(2):295-302. Epub 2005 Dec 1.

Evaluating the vulnerability of surface waters to antibiotic contamination from varying wastewater treatment plant discharges.

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Department of Chemistry, The State University of New York at Buffalo, 608 Natural Sciences Complex, Buffalo, NY 14260-3000, USA.


Effluents from three wastewater treatment plants with varying wastewater treatment technologies and design were analyzed for six antibiotics and caffeine on three sampling occasions. Sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, and clindamycin were detected in the effluents at concentrations ranging from 0.090 to 6.0 microg/L. Caffeine was detected in all effluents at concentrations ranging from 0.19 to 9.9 microg/L. These findings indicate that several conventional wastewater management practices are not effective in the complete removal of antibiotics, and their discharges have a large potential to affect the aquatic environment. To evaluate the persistence of antibiotics coming from the wastewater discharges on the surrounding surface waters, samples were collected from the receiving streams at 10-, 20- and 100-m intervals. Ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, and clindamycin (0.043 to 0.076 microg/L) were found as far as 100 m from the discharge point, which indicates the persistence of these drugs in surface waters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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