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Environ Int. 2007 May;33(4):596-601. Epub 2006 Nov 3.

Occurrence and risk assessment of pharmaceutically active compounds in wastewater treatment plants. A case study: Seville city (Spain).

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of Seville, C/ Virgen de Africa 7, E41011 Seville, Spain.


The occurrence of four anti-inflammatory drugs (diclofenac, ibuprofen, ketoprofen and naproxen), an antiepileptic drug (carbamazepine) and a nervous stimulant (caffeine) in influent and effluent samples from four wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Seville was evaluated. Removal rates in the WWTPs and risk assessment of the pharmaceutically active compounds have been studied. Analytical determination was carried out by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with diode array (DAD) and fluorescence (Fl) detectors after sample clean up and concentration by solid phase extraction. All pharmaceutically active compounds, except diclofenac, were detected not only in wastewater influents but also in wastewater effluents. Mean concentrations of caffeine, carbamazepine, ketoprofen and naproxen ranged between 0.28-11.44 microg l(-1) and 0.21-2.62 microg l(-1) in influent and effluent wastewater, respectively. Ibuprofen was present in the highest concentrations in the range 12.13-373.11 microg l(-1) and 0.78-48.24 microg l(-1) in influent and effluent wastewater, respectively. Removal rates of the pharmaceuticals ranged between 6 and 98%. Risk quotients, expressed as ratios between the measured environmental concentration (MEC) and the predicted no effect concentrations (PNEC) were higher than 1 for ibuprofen and naproxen in influent wastewater and for ibuprofen in effluent wastewater.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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