Skip to main content

Occurrence patterns of pharmaceuticals in water and wastewater environments

Abstract

The occurrence of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites and transformation products in the environment is becoming a matter of concern, because these compounds, which may have adverse effects on living organisms, are extensively and increasingly used in human and veterinary medicine and are released continuously into the environment. A variety of pharmaceuticals have been detected in many environmental samples worldwide. Their occurrence has been reported in sewage-treatment-plant effluents, surface water, seawater, groundwater, soil, sediment and fish. This paper provides an overview of recent scientific research on the sources, occurrence, and fate of pharmaceuticals in water and wastewater.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. 1.

    Richardson SD (2005) Global Nest J 7:43–60

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Nieuwenhuijsen MJ (2005) Global Nest J 7:128–144

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Andrzejewski P, Kasprzyk-Hordern B, Nawrocki J (2005) Global Nest J 7:17–26

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Cancho B, Ventura F (2005) Global Nest J 7:72–94

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Halling-Sorensen B, Nors Nielsen S, Lanzky PF, Ingerslev F, Holten Lutzhoft HC, Jorgensen SE (1998) Chemosphere 36:357–393

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Daughton CG, Ternes TA (1999) Environ Health Perspect 107:907–938

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Ternes TA (1998) Water Res 32:3245–3260

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Kolpin DW, Furlong ET, Meyer MT, Thurman EM, Zaugg SD, Barber LR, Buxton HT (2002) Environ Sci Technol 36:1202–1211

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Sacher F, Lange FT, Brauch HJ, Blankenhorn I (2001) J Chromatogr A 938:199–210

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Weigel S, Kuhlmann J, Hühnerfuss H (2002) Sci Total Environ 295:131–141

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Fent K, Weston AA, Caminada D (2006) Aquat Toxicol 76:122–159

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Weigel S, Berger U, Jensen E, Kallenborn R, Thoresen H, Hühnerfuss H (2004) Chemosphere 56:583–592

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Khan SJ, Ongerth JE (2002) Water Sci Technol 46:105–113

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Heberer T (2002) Toxicol Lett 131:5–17

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Heberer T (2002) J Hydrol 266:175–189

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Hirsch R, Ternes T, Haberer K, Kratz KL (1999) Sci Total Environ 225:109–118

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Hernando MD, Mezcua M, Fernández-Alba AR, Barceló D (2006) Talanta 69:334–342

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Seiler RL, Zaugg SD, Thomas JM, Howcroft DL (1999) Ground Water 37:405–410

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Siegener R, Chen RF (2002) Mar Pollut Bull 44:383–387

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Buerge IJ, Poiger T, Müller MD, Buser H-R (2003) Environ Sci Technol 37:691–700

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Oaks JL, Gilbert M, Virani MZ, Watson RT, Meteyer CU, Rideout BA, Shivaprasad HL, Ahmed S, Chaudhry MJI, Arshad M, Mahmood S, Ali A, Khan AA (2004) Nature 427:630–633

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Metcalfe CD, Miao XS, Koenig BG, Struger J (2003) Environ Toxicol Chem 22:2881–2889

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Boyd GR, Reemtsma H, Grimm DA, Mitra S (2003) Sci Total Environ 311:135–149

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Gagné F, Blaise C, André C (2006) Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 64:329–336

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Andersen SR, Sandaa RA (1994) Appl Environ Microbiol 60:908–912

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Reinthaler FF, Posch J, Feierl G, Wust G, Haas D, Ruckenbauer G, Mascher F, Marth E (2003) Water Res 37:1685–1690

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Hartmann A, Alder AC, Koller T, Widmer RM (1998) Environ Toxicol Chem 17:377–382

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Purdom CE, Hardiman PA, Bye VJ, Eno NC, Tyler CR, Sumpter JP (1994) J Chem Ecol 8:275–285

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    EMEA (1998) Note for guidance: environmental risk assessment for veterinary medicinal products other than GMO-containing and immunological products, EMEA/CVMP/055/96, the European agency for the evaluation of medicinal products (EMEA), London

  30. 30.

    EMEA (2005) Note for guidance on environmental risk assessment of medicinal products for human use, CMPC/SWP/4447/draft, the European agency for the evaluation of medicinal products (EMEA), London

  31. 31.

    FDA-CDER (1998) Guidance for industry-environmental assessment of human drugs and biologics applications, Revision 1, FDA center for drug evaluation and research, Rockville

  32. 32.

    Boxall AB, Kolpin DW, Halling-Sorensen B, Tolls J (2003) Environ Sci Technol 37:286A–294A

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Lishman L, Smyth SA, Sarafin K, Kleywegt S, Toito J, Peart T, Lee B, Servos M, Beland M, Seto P (2006) Sci Total Environ (in press)

  34. 34.

    Winkler M, Lawrence JR, Neu TR (2001) Water Res 35:3197–3205

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Boree AN, Arnold WA, McNeill K (2003) Aquat Sci 65:320–341

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Tixier C, Singer HP, Oellers S, Müller SR (2003) Environ Sci Technol 37:1061–1068

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  37. 37.

    Andreozzi R, Marotta R, Paxéus N (2003) Chemosphere 50:1319–1330

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Doll TE, Frimmel FH (2003) Chemosphere 52:1757–1769

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Moldovan Z (2006) Chemosphere (in press)

  40. 40.

    Jones OA, Voulvoulis N, Lester JN (2002) Water Res 36:5013–5022

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  41. 41.

    Huschek G, Hansen PD, Maurer HH, Krengel D, Kayser A (2004) Environ Toxicol 19:226–240

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  42. 42.

    Khan SJ, Ongerth JE (2004) Chemosphere 54:355–367

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  43. 43.

    Giger W, Alder AC, Golet EM, Kohler HPE, McArdell CS, Molnar E, Siegrist H, Suter MJF (2003) Chimia 57:485–491

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Rizzo L, Selcuk H, Nikolaou A, Belgiorno V, Bekbolet M, Meric S (2005) Global Nest J 7:95–105

    Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Pavlogeorgatos GD, Thomaidis NS, Nikolaou AD, Lekkas TD (2006) Global Nest J 8:61–67

    Google Scholar 

  46. 46.

    Mok KM, Wong H, Fan XJ (2006) Global Nest J 7:1–16

    Google Scholar 

  47. 47.

    Kay P, Blackwell PA, Boxall ABA (2005) Environ Pollut 134:333–341

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  48. 48.

    Johnson AC, Williams RJ, Matthiessen P (2006) Sci Total Environ 362:166–178

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    Zuccato E, Calamari D, Natangelo M, Fanelli R (2000) Lancet 355:1789–1790

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  50. 50.

    Ternes T (2001) Trends Anal Chem 20:419–434

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  51. 51.

    la Farré M, Ferrer I, Ginebreda A, Figueras M, Olivella L, Tirapu L (2001) J Chromatogr A 938:187–197

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. 52.

    Calamari D, Zuccato E, Castiglioni S, Bagnati R, Fanelli R (2003) Environ Sci Technol 37:1241–1248

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  53. 53.

    Ferrari B, Paxeus N, Giudice RL, Pollio A, Garric J (2003) Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 55:359–370

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  54. 54.

    Jones OA, Voulvoulis N, Lester JN (2001) Environ Technol 22:1383–1394

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    Carlsson C, Johansson A, Alvan G, Bergman K, Kühler T (2006) Sci Total Environ 364:67–87

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  56. 56.

    Kummerer K (2001) Chemosphere 45:957–969

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  57. 57.

    Diaz-Cruz MS, Lopez de Alda M, Barcelo D (2003) Trends Anal Chem 22:340–351

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  58. 58.

    Richardson ML, Bowron JM (1985) J Pharm Pharmacol 37:1–12

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  59. 59.

    Rogers IH, Birtwell IK, Kruznyski GM (1986) Water Pollut Res J Can 21:187–204

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  60. 60.

    Lissemore L, Hao C, Yang P, Sibley PK, Mabury S, Solomon KR (2006) Chemosphere 64(5):717–729

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Diaz-Cruz MS, Barcelo D (2005) Trends Anal Chem 24:645–657

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  62. 62.

    Buser HR, Müller MD, Theobald N (1998) Environ Sci Technol 32:188–192

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  63. 63.

    Kümmerer K, Helmers E (2000) Environ Sci Technol 34:573–577

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  64. 64.

    Ternes T, Hirsch R, Mueller J, Haberer K (1998) Fresenius J Anal Chem 362:329–340

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  65. 65.

    Wiegel S, Aulinger A, Brockmeyer R, Harms H, Loffler J, Reincke H, Schmidt R, Stachel B, Von Tumpling W, Wanke A (2004) Chemosphere 57:107–126

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    Bendz D, Paxéus NA, Ginn TR, Loge FJ (2005) J Hazard Mater 122:195–204

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  67. 67.

    Thaker (2005) Environ Sci Technol 139:193A–194A

    Google Scholar 

  68. 68.

    Ashton D, Hilton M, Thomas KV (2004) Sci Total Environ 333:167–184

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  69. 69.

    Roberts PH, Thomas KV (2006) Sci Total Environ 356:143–153

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  70. 70.

    Brown KD, Kulis J, Thomson B, Chapman TH, Mawhinney DB (2005) Sci Total Environ (in press)

  71. 71.

    Miao XS, Koenig BG, Metcalfe CD (2002) J Chromatogr A 952:139–147

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  72. 72.

    Heberer T, Fuhrmann B, Schmidt-Baumler K, Tsipi D, Koutsouba V, Hiskia A (2001) Occurrence of pharmaceutical residues in sewage, river, ground and drinking water in Greece and Berlin (Germany). In: Daughton CG, Jones-Lepp TL (eds) Pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment: scientific and regulatory issues. American Chemical Society, Washington, pp 70–83

    Google Scholar 

  73. 73.

    Stan HJ, Heberer T (1997) Analysis 25:20

    Google Scholar 

  74. 74.

    Garrison AW, Pope JD, Allen FR (1976) GC/MS analysis of organic compounds in domestic wastewaters. In: Keith LH (ed) Identification and analysis of organic pollutants in water. Ann Arbor Science Publishers Inc, Ann Arbor, pp 517–556

    Google Scholar 

  75. 75.

    Lin WC, Chen HC, Ding WH (2005) J Chromatogr A 1065:279–285

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  76. 76.

    Gans O, Sattelberge R, Scharf S (2002) Vom Wasser 98:165–176

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  77. 77.

    Buser HR, Poiger T, Muller MD (1999) Environ Sci Technol 33:2529–2535

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  78. 78.

    Hirsch R, Ternes TA, Haberer K, Kratz KL (1996) Vom Wasser 87:263–274

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  79. 79.

    Boyd GR, Reemtsma H, Grimm DA, Mitra S (2003) Sci Total Environ 311:135–149

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  80. 80.

    McAvoy DC, Schatowitz B, Jacob M, Hauk A, Eckhoftf W (2002) Environ Toxicol Chem 21:1323–1329

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  81. 81.

    Stackelberg PE, Furlong ET, Meyer MT, Zaugg SD, Henderson AK, Reissman DB (2004) Sci Total Environ 329:99–113

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  82. 82.

    Reddersen K, Heberer T, Dünnbier U (2002) Chemosphere 49(6):539–544

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  83. 83.

    Jux U, Baginski RM, Arnold HG, Krönke M, Peter N (2002) Int J Hygiene Environ Health 205(5):393–398

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  84. 84.

    Kim SD, Cho J, Kim IS, Vanderford BJ, Snyder SA (2006) Water Res (in press)

  85. 85.

    Huang CH, Renew JE, Smeby KL, Pinkerston K, Sedlak DL (2001) Water Resour Update 120:30–40

    Google Scholar 

  86. 86.

    Urase T, Kikuta T (2005) Water Res 39:1289–1300

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  87. 87.

    Buser HR, Poiger T, Müller MD (1998) Environ Sci Technol 32:3449–3456

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  88. 88.

    Golet EM, Alder AC, Giger W (2002) Environ Sci Technol 36:3645–3651

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  89. 89.

    Temes TA, Andersen H, Gilberg D, Bonerz M (2002) Anal Chem 74:3498–3504

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  90. 90.

    DellaGreca M, Fiorentino A, Isidori M, Lavorgna M, Previtera L, Rubino M, Temussi F (2004) Chemosphere 54:629–637

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  91. 91.

    Isidori M, Nardelli A, Parrella A, Pascarella L, Previtera L (2006) Chemosphere 63:785–793

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  92. 92.

    Schwaiger J, Ferling H, Mallow U, Wintermayr H, Negele RD (2004) Aquat Toxicol 68:141–150

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  93. 93.

    Brooks BW, Chambliss CK, Stanley JK, Ramirez A, Banks KE, Johnson RD, Lewis RJ (2005) Environ Toxicol Chem 24:464–469

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  94. 94.

    Schulman LJ, Sargent EV, Naumann BD, Faria EC, Dolan DG, Wargo JP (2002) Human Ecol Risk Assess 8(4):657–680

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  95. 95.

    Emmanuel E, Perrodin Y, Keck G, Blanchard JM, Vermande P (2005) J Hazard Mater 117(1):1–11

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  96. 96.

    Ferrari B, Mons R, Vollat B et al (2004) Environ Toxicol Chem 23(5):1344–1354

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  97. 97.

    Barrow PC, Guillaume R (2005) Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 43(1):35–44

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  98. 98.

    Nunes B, Carvallo F, Guilhermino L (2006) Chemosphere 62(4):581–594

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgement

This review has been inspired by EU COST Action 636 “Xenobiotics in the Urban Water Cycle” in which the authors participate.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anastasia Nikolaou.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nikolaou, A., Meric, S. & Fatta, D. Occurrence patterns of pharmaceuticals in water and wastewater environments. Anal Bioanal Chem 387, 1225–1234 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-006-1035-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Drugs
  • Wastewater
  • Surface water
  • Groundwater