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Persistence and dissipation pathways of the antidepressant sertraline in agricultural soils

Li, Hongxia, Sumarah, Mark W., Topp, Edward
The Science of the total environment 2013 v.452-453 pp. 296-301
agricultural land, agricultural soils, antidepressants, clay soils, high performance liquid chromatography, land application, liquid biosolids, loam soils, mass spectrometry, parents, sewage effluent, sewage treatment, soil texture
Sertraline is a widely-used antidepressant that is one of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. It has been detected in biosolids and effluents from sewage treatment plants. Since sertraline can reach agriculture land through the application of municipal biosolids or reclaimed water, the persistence and dissipation pathways of 3H-sertraline were determined in laboratory incubations using three agriculture soils varying in textures and properties. The total solvent extractable radioactivity decreased in all three soils with times to dissipate 50% of material (DT50) ranging from 48.1±3.5 (loam soil) to 84.5±13.8 (clay soil) days. Two hydroxylated sertraline transformation products were identified in all three soils by high performance liquid chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC–TOF-MS), but the accumulation did not exceed 10% of the initial parent concentration. The addition of liquid municipal biosolids to the loam soil had no effect on the rate of sertraline dissipation, or production of transformation products. In summary, sertraline was persistent in agricultural soils with major dissipation pathways including the production of non-extractable soil-bound residues, and accumulation of hydroxylated transformation products. The biologically active sertraline transformation product norsertraline was not detected in soil.