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Water Res. 2007 Feb;41(3):613-9. Epub 2006 Dec 21.

Environmental risk assessment of antibiotics in the Swedish environment with emphasis on sewage treatment plants.

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Environmental Chemistry, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.


The potential risks associated with antibiotics present in the Swedish environment were assessed using concentrations found in hospital effluent, and sewage treatment waters and sludge, in combination with data on their environmental effects obtained from the literature. For the aqueous environment, measured environmental concentrations and effect/no observed effect concentration ratios were much lower than one in most cases. The only exceptions, where concentrations of the investigated substances were high enough to pose potential risks, were the concentrations of the two fluoroquinolones, ofloxacin and ciprofloxacin, in the hospital effluent. Treating digested dewatered sludge by heat did not fully eliminate norfloxacin or ciprofloxacin, thus pellets may still contain high amounts of these substances (sub to low mgkg(-1)dw). In leaching tests less than 1% of the amounts of these fluoroquinolones in the sludge or pellets reached the aqueous phase, indicating that their mobility is limited if sludge is used to fertilize soil.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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