Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 24, pp 20207–20214 | Cite as

Respective contributions of diet and medium to the bioaccumulation of pharmaceutical compounds in the first levels of an aquatic trophic web

  • Frédéric Orias
  • Laurent Simon
  • Yves Perrodin
Research Article


Nowadays, pharmaceuticals (PCs) are ubiquitous in aquatic ecosystems. It is known that these compounds have ecotoxic effects on aquatic organisms at low concentrations. Moreover, some of them can bioaccumulate inside organisms or trophic webs exposed at environmental concentrations and amplify ecotoxic impacts. PCs can bioaccumulate in two ways: exposure to a medium (e.g., respiration, diffusion, etc.) and/or through the dietary route. Here, we try to assess the respective contributions of these two forms of contamination of the first two levels of an aquatic trophic web. We exposed Daphnia magna for 5 days to 0, 5, and 50 μg/L 15N-tamoxifen and then fed them with control and contaminated diets. We used an isotopic method to measure the tamoxifen content inside the daphnids after several minutes’ exposure and every day before and after feeding. We found that tamoxifen is very bioaccumulative inside daphnids (BCF up to 12,000) and that the dietary route has a significant impact on contamination by tamoxifen (BAF up to 22,000), especially at low concentrations in medium.


Bioconcentration Bioaccumulation Pharmaceutical compound Tamoxifen Stable isotopes 



The authors thank the SIPIBEL field observatory on hospital effluents and urban wastewater treatment plants, the European Union, the Rhone-Mediterranean Corsica Water Agency, the Rhône-Alpes Region, the Ministries of Health and the Environment, the Regional Office of Health, and the General Council of Haute-Savoie for their support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frédéric Orias
    • 1
  • Laurent Simon
    • 1
  • Yves Perrodin
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de Lyon; ENTPE; Université Lyon 1; CNRS; UMR 5023 LEHNAVaulx-en-VelinFrance

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