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J Hazard Mater. 2017 Feb 5;323(Pt A):489-499. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.04.022. Epub 2016 Apr 13.

Decomposition of Iodinated Pharmaceuticals by UV-254 nm-assisted Advanced Oxidation Processes.

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Environmental Engineering and Science Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, United States.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, United States.
Innovation and Environmental Stewardship, American Water, Belleville, IL 62220, United States.
Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH 45268, United States.
Environmental Engineering and Science Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221, United States; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Nireas-International Water Research Centre, School of Engineering, University of Cyprus, PO Box 20537, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus. Electronic address:


Iodinated pharmaceuticals, thyroxine (a thyroid hormone) and diatrizoate (an iodinated X-ray contrast medium), are among the most prescribed active pharmaceutical ingredients. Both of them have been reported to potentially disrupt thyroid homeostasis even at very low concentrations. In this study, UV-254 nm-based photolysis and photochemical processes, i.e., UV only, UV/H2O2, and UV/S2O82-, were evaluated for the destruction of these two pharmaceuticals. Approximately 40% of 0.5μM thyroxine or diatrizoate was degraded through direct photolysis at UV fluence of 160mJcm-2, probably resulting from the photosensitive cleavage of C-I bonds. While the addition of H2O2 only accelerated the degradation efficiency to a low degree, the destruction rates of both chemicals were significantly enhanced in the UV/S2O82- system, suggesting the potential vulnerability of the iodinated chemicals toward UV/S2O82- treatment. Such efficient destruction also occurred in the presence of radical scavengers when biologically treated wastewater samples were used as reaction matrices. The effects of initial oxidant concentrations, solution pH, as well as the presence of natural organic matter (humic acid or fulvic acid) and alkalinity were also investigated in this study. These results provide insights for the removal of iodinated pharmaceuticals in water and/or wastewater using UV-based photochemical processes.


Diatrizoate; Hydrogen peroxide; Persulfate; Thyroxine; UV–254nm photolysis

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