Evaluation of in-sewer transformation of selected illicit drugs and pharmaceutical biomarkers

Gao, Jianfa, Banks, Andrew, Li, Jiaying, Jiang, Guangming, Lai, Foon Yin, Mueller, Jochen F. and Thai, Phong K. (2017) Evaluation of in-sewer transformation of selected illicit drugs and pharmaceutical biomarkers. Science of the Total Environment, 609 1172-1181. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.231

Author Gao, Jianfa
Banks, Andrew
Li, Jiaying
Jiang, Guangming
Lai, Foon Yin
Mueller, Jochen F.
Thai, Phong K.
Title Evaluation of in-sewer transformation of selected illicit drugs and pharmaceutical biomarkers
Journal name Science of the Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-1026
Publication date 2017-12-31
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.231
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 609
Start page 1172
End page 1181
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Language eng
Abstract Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is considered to be a useful tool for monitoring chemical consumption in the population. However, the lack of information on potential transformation of biomarkers in the sewer system can compromise the accuracy of the consumption estimation. The present study contributes to addressing this issue by investigating the in-sewer stability of biomarkers from a number of commonly used drugs using laboratory sewer reactors that canmimic different sewer conditions. A stable and an unstable chemical (carbamazepine and caffeine) were also used as benchmarking chemicals to reflect the chemical degradation potential in different sewer conditions. The results suggested that ketamine and norketamine were unstable in gravity and rising main sewers, ketamine was unstable in bulk liquid while norketamine was stable under the same condition. Similarly, mephedrone and methylone were unstable in sewer conditions with considerable deviation. Significant loss of buprenorphine, methadone, oxycodone and codeine was observed in the rising main sewer. Morphine and codeine glucuronide were found to be deconjugated from their glucuronides quickly in the presence of biofilms. This study indicates that it is important to evaluate the stability of biomarkers in the sewer system before using them in WBE for estimating consumption/exposure to reduce uncertainties. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Benchmarking chemicals
New psychoactive substances
Wastewater-based epidemiology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID DP150100645
Institutional Status UQ

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