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Investigation and risk evaluation of the occurrence of carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine, their human metabolites and transformation products in the urban water cycle

Brezina, Elena, Prasse, Carsten, Meyer, Johannes, Mückter, Harald, Ternes, Thomas A.
Environmental pollution 2016
activated carbon, analytical methods, anticonvulsants, aquatic environment, drinking water, effluents, filtration, genotoxicity, groundwater, humans, hydrologic cycle, metabolites, ozonation, ozone, risk assessment, surface water, wastewater, wastewater treatment
Trace organic contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products and industrial chemicals are frequently detected in the urban water cycle, including wastewater, surface water and groundwater, as well as drinking water. These also include human metabolites (HMs), which are formed in the human body and then excreted via urine or feces, as well as transformation products (TPs) formed in engineered treatment systems and the aquatic environment. In the current study, the occurrence of HMs as well as their TPs of the anticonvulsants carbamazepine (CBZ) and oxcarbazepine (OXC) were investigated using LC tandem MS in effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), surface water and groundwater. Highest concentrations were observed in raw wastewater for 10,11-dihydro-10,11-dihydroxycarbamazepine (DiOHCBZ), 10,11-dihydro-10-hydroxy-cabamazepine (10OHCBZ) and CBZ with concentrations ranging up to 2.7 ± 0.4, 1.7 ± 0.2 and 1.07 ± 0.06 μg L−1, respectively. Predictions of different toxicity endpoints using a Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity (DSSTox) expert system query indicated that several HMs and TPs, in particular 9-carboxy-acridine (9-CA-ADIN) and acridone (ADON), may exhibit an increased genotoxicity compared to the parent compound CBZ. As 9-CA-ADIN was also detected in groundwater, a detailed investigation of the genotoxicity of 9-CA-ADIN is warranted. Investigations of an advanced wastewater treatment plant further revealed that the discharge of the investigated compounds into the aquatic environment could be substantially reduced by ozonation followed by granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration.