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Integrative Sampling of Antibiotics and Other Pharmaceutically-Related Compounds

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Abstract:Pharmaceuticals from human and veterinary use continually enter the environment through municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), surface runoff from animal waste, and direct disposal of unused medications. The presence of these chemicals, albeit often at subtherapeutic trace levels, may be partly responsible for development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and sublethal effects in aquatic organisms. Conventional sampling techniques (i.e., grab sampling) often are insufficient for detecting these trace levels. A new sampling technique, the Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampler (POCIS), developed by scientists at the USGS's Columbia Environmental Research Center, can provide the time-weighted average concentrations of these complex mixtures. A pilot study targeting the antibiotic azithromycin involved deploying the POCIS for 30 days in the effluents of three WWTPs in Nevada, Utah, and South Carolina. Azithromycin was detected at each WWTP at 19 to 66 ng/L. This translates to a yearly loading, into each of the three receiving waters, of 0.4 to 4 kg/year. In a separate study investigating potential impacts of confined animal feeding operations on national wildlife refuges in the Delmarva peninsula, the antibiotic tetracycline and the natural hormone 17B-estradiol were detected at multiple sites.
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Citation:Alvarez, D. A., T. Joneslepp, J. D. Petty, J. N. Huckins, and B. L. Mcgee. Integrative Sampling of Antibiotics and Other Pharmaceutically-Related Compounds. Presented at Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), Austin, TX, November 8-13, 2003.
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Environmental Chemistry Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 11/08/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Addressing Emerging Issues in Water Quality Through Environmental Chemistry
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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