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Occurrence, Distribution, and Ecological Risk of Fluoroquinolones in Rivers and Wastewaters

Teglia, Carla M., Perez, Florencia A., Michlig, Nicolás, Repetti, María R., Goicoechea, Héctor C., Culzoni, María J.
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2019 v.38 no.10 pp. 2305-2313
Anura, Cyanobacteria, algae, aquatic ecosystems, bacteria, biodiversity, ciprofloxacin, difloxacin, enrofloxacin, farms, fish, fluorescence, high performance liquid chromatography, humans, mass spectrometry, ofloxacin, risk, rivers, surface water, ultra-performance liquid chromatography, wastewater, water pollution, Argentina
The use of fluoroquinolones for the treatment of infections in humans and animals has increased in Argentina, and they can be found in large amounts in water bodies. The present study investigated the occurrence and associated ecological risk of 5 fluoroquinolones in rivers and farm wastewaters of San Luis, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, and Buenos Aires provinces of Argentina by high‐performance liquid chromatography coupled to fast‐scanning fluorescence detection and ultra–high‐performance liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry detection. The maximum concentrations of ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, ofloxacin, enoxacin, and difloxacin found in wastewater were 1.14, 11.9, 1.78, 22.1, and 14.2 μg L–¹, respectively. In the case of river samples, only enrofloxacin was found, at a concentration of 0.97 μg L–¹. The individual risk of aquatic organisms associated with water pollution due to fluoroquinolones was higher in bacteria, cyanobacteria, algae, plants, and anurans than in crustaceae and fish, with, in some cases, risk quotients >1. The proportion of samples classified as high risk was 87.5% for ofloxacin, 63.5% for enrofloxacin, 57.1% for ciprofloxacin, and 25% for enoxacin. Our results suggest that the prevalence of fluoroquinolones in water could be potentially risky for the aquatic ecosystem, and harmful to biodiversity. Environ Toxicol Chem 2019;38:2305–2313. © 2019 SETAC.