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J Hazard Mater. 2011 Feb 28;186(2-3):1586-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.12.037. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

GC-MS analysis and ecotoxicological risk assessment of triclosan, carbamazepine and parabens in Indian rivers.

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Department of Environmental Biotechnology, School of Environmental Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli 620024, India.


Pharmaceutical and personal care products are used extensively worldwide and their residues are frequently reported in aquatic environments. In this study, antiepileptic, antimicrobial and preservative compounds were analyzed in surface water and sediment from the Kaveri, Vellar and Tamiraparani rivers, and in the Pichavaram mangrove in India by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The mean concentration of carbamazepine recorded in the Kaveri River water (28.3 ng/L) was higher than in the other rivers and the mangrove. Because carbamazepine is used only in human drugs, this may reflect the relative contributions of human excretions/sewage in these rivers. The mean triclosan level in the Tamiraparani River (944 ng/L) was an order of magnitude greater than in the other water systems, and the concentrations at two of the sites reported here (3800-5160 ng/L) are, to our best knowledge, among the highest detected in surface waters. Sediment levels were, however, comparable with other sites. We conclude that industrial releases are likely major contributors of triclosan into this river system. Among parabens, ethyl paraben was predominantly observed. Hazard Quotients suggest greater environmental risks for triclosan than for carbamazepine and parabens. This is the first study on antiepileptic, antimicrobial and preservatives in rivers and mangroves from India.

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