Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Wastewaters in Barbados, West Indies

  • Quincy A. Edwards
  • Tamanna Sultana
  • Sergei M. Kulikov
  • Leah D. Garner-O’Neale
  • Viviane Yargeau
  • Chris D. Metcalfe


There have been few reports in the peer-reviewed literature on the levels of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in municipal wastewater from the Caribbean region. In this study of wastewater collected from two wastewater treatment plants in Barbados, caffeine and ibuprofen were detected at µg/L concentrations, whereas two steroid hormones (i.e. androstenedione, estrone) and several prescription pharmaceuticals were detected at ng/L concentrations. Among drugs of abuse, benzoylecgonine (i.e. metabolite of cocaine), MDMA (i.e. Ecstasy) and MDA (i.e. 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine) were present at the highest concentrations in untreated wastewater. Overall, these data show that there is potential impact in the marine environment in Barbados from CECs discharged into the coastal zone.


Caffeine Pharmaceuticals Drugs of abuse Wastewater Barbados West Indies 



Quincy Edwards received financial support from the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program (ELAP) of the Government of Canada, as well as a Graduate Student Research Award from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. Wastewater sampling was assisted by the Barbados Water Authority. The extraction of contaminants was made possible through the guidance of Brenda Seaborn at Trent University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quincy A. Edwards
    • 1
  • Tamanna Sultana
    • 2
  • Sergei M. Kulikov
    • 1
  • Leah D. Garner-O’Neale
    • 1
  • Viviane Yargeau
    • 3
  • Chris D. Metcalfe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Chemical SciencesUniversity of the West IndiesBridgetownBarbados
  2. 2.Water Quality CentreTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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