Drug metabolites found in wastewater

March 16, 2006

University of Buffalo chemists say they've identified metabolites of two antibiotics and a medial imaging agent at wastewater treatment plants.

The chemists said data from their landmark discovery will allow wastewater treatment plants to begin monitoring for those byproducts.

The researchers said their discovery also reinforces concerns about excreted pharmaceutical compounds from wastewater systems that might end up in water supplies, potentially resulting in adverse effects for humans and the environment.

The UB scientists identified the metabolites for sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, commonly prescribed antibiotics, and for a synthetic estrogen, a common ingredient in birth control pills and in hormone replacement therapy.

The chemists obtained the water samples from local wastewater treatment plants in the Western New York towns of Amherst, East Aurora, Lackawanna, Tonawanda and Holland -- representing suburban, urban and rural areas.

They sampled effluent before and after each water-treatment stage to examine relative efficiencies of each treatment process.

The research was presented Thursday in Orlando, Fla., during the annual Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Wastewater treatment upgrades result in major reduction of intersex fish

Related Stories

How your cozy fleece could be polluting the ocean

January 11, 2017

Fleece is a wintertime staple but could be contributing to the next big ocean plastics problem: lint. The lightweight, cozy material sheds some of its synthetic microfibers each time it's washed, and this lint ultimately ...

A stabilisation pond system in Namibia increases yields

December 19, 2016

What is a simple way to upgrade wastewater stabilisation pond systems in Africa so that the water can be reused for animal fodder production? Under the direction of Technische Universität Darmstadt, the joint project "EPoNa ...

Dirty job shows why cholera still kills in Haiti

December 28, 2016

The men strip off their clothes, wrap themselves in rags and plug their nostrils with tobacco to hide the stench. They squeeze into a cramped outhouse with a reeking pit to scoop buckets of human excrement with their bare ...

Recommended for you

Researchers zero-in on cholesterol's role in cells

January 17, 2017

Scientists have long puzzled over cholesterol. It's biologically necessary; it's observably harmful - and nobody knows what it's doing where it's most abundant in cells: in the cell membrane.

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor

January 17, 2017

In a new study, researchers at the University of California San Diego investigate why hair is incredibly strong and resistant to breaking. The findings could lead to the development of new materials for body armor and help ...

Moving up the food chain can beat being on top

January 17, 2017

When it comes to predators, the biggest mouths may not take the biggest bite. According to a new study from bioscientists at Rice University, some predators have their greatest ecological impacts before they reach adulthood.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.