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Determination of Levels of Current Drugs in Hospital and Urban Wastewater

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A rapid, sensitive and highly specific HPLC–MS/MS method with direct on-line preparation was applied for the determination of 20 common pharmaceuticals in hospital and urban wastewater. Median drug concentrations were quite similar in the majority of samples, cerca 1 μg L−1 ranging from 0.06 to 2.67 μg L−1 in both water. Pharmaceutical hospital contribution, below 1 %, was negligible, as compared to the huge amount in the municipal plant flow. Due to only partial elimination in the plant, hundreds of kilograms of harmful waste per year are discharged in the River Seine. Therefore, to reduce potential human and environmental exposure, a topic of major concern, an efficient drug treatment procedure should be used at the municipal plant stage in order to reduce urban wastewater pollution. The HPLC–MS/MS method could be a very useful tool to optimize the pharmaceutical wastewater treatment process.

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This research was supported by Grants from the Groupement Régional de Santé Publique de Haute-Normandie, Préfecture de Haute-Normandie, Rouen, France. This study was directed by the Union Régionale des Médecins Libéraux de Haute-Normandie, Rouen, France. The authors are most grateful to Richard Medeiros, Rouen University Hospital Medical Editor, for his valuable editing of the manuscript. The authors are also most grateful to Bernard Daumur, Rouen, University General Manager, for his support.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Jean-Pierre Goullé.

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Saussereau, E., Lacroix, C., Guerbet, M. et al. Determination of Levels of Current Drugs in Hospital and Urban Wastewater. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 91, 171–176 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-013-1030-7

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  • Wastewater
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • On-line preparation