Occurrence of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in Tehran source water, municipal and hospital wastewaters, and their ecotoxicological risk assessment
Mostafa M. Amini
Ahmad Reza Yazdanbakhsh
MetadataShow full item record
© 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Pharmaceuticals are becoming widely distributed in waters and wastewaters and pose a serious threat to public health. The present study aimed to analyze non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in surface waters, drinking water, and wastewater in Tehran, Iran. Thirty-six samples were collected from surface waters, tap water, and influent and effluent of municipal and hospital wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). A solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method was used for the determination of pharmaceuticals, namely ibuprofen (IBP), naproxen (NPX), diclofenac (DIC), and indomethacin (IDM). IBP was found in most of the samples and had the highest concentration. The highest concentrations of NSAIDs were found in the municipal WWTP influents and hospital WWTP effluents. In the municipal WWTP influent samples, the concentrations of IBP, NPX, DIC, and IDM were 1.05, 0.43, 0.23, and 0.11 μg/L, respectively. DIC was found only in one river sample. All NSAIDs were detected in tap water samples. However, their concentration was very low and the maximum values for IBP, NPX, DIC, and IDM were 47, 39, 24, and 37 ng/L, respectively, in tap water samples. Results showed that the measured pharmaceuticals were detected in all rivers with low concentrations in nanograms per liter range, except DIC which was found only in one river. Furthermore, this study showed that the aforementioned pharmaceuticals are not completely removed during their passage through WWTPs. A potential environmental risk of selected NSAIDs for the urban wastewater has been discussed. However, given their low measured concentrations, no ecotoxicological effect is suspected to occur.