Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 9876–9891 | Cite as

Root uptake of atenolol, sulfamethoxazole and carbamazepine, and their transformation in three soils and four plants

  • Radka KodešováEmail author
  • Aleš Klement
  • Oksana Golovko
  • Miroslav Fér
  • Antonín Nikodem
  • Martin Kočárek
  • Roman Grabic
Research Article


Soils can be contaminated by pharmaceuticals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of soil conditions (influencing sorption and persistence of pharmaceuticals in soils) and plant type on the root uptake of selected pharmaceuticals and their transformation in plant-soil systems. Four plants (lamb’s lettuce, spinach, arugula, radish) planted in 3 soils were irrigated for 20 days (26) with water contaminated by one of 3 pharmaceuticals (carbamazepine, atenolol, sulfamethoxazole) or their mixture. The concentrations of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites in soils and plant tissues were evaluated after the harvest. Sulfamethoxazole and atenolol dissipated rapidly from soils. The larger concentrations of both compounds and an atenolol metabolite were found in roots than in leaves. Sulfamethoxazole metabolites were below the limits of quantifications. Carbamazepine was stable in soils, easily uptaken, accumulated, and metabolized in plant leaves. The efficiency of radish and arugula (both family Brassicaceae) in metabolizing was very low contrary to the high and moderate efficiencies of lamb’s lettuce and spinach, respectively. Compounds’ transformations mostly masked the soil impact on their accumulation in plant tissues. The negative relationships were found between the carbamazepine sorption coefficients and its concentrations in roots of radish, lamb’s lettuce, and spinach.


Soils Plants Pharmaceuticals Metabolites Root uptake Compound’s translocation in plant Plant-dependent compound’s transformation 


Funding information

Financial support was provided by the Czech Science Foundation project No. 17-08937S, Behavior of pharmaceuticals in soil-water-plant system, and partly also our previous project No. 13-12477S, Transport of pharmaceuticals in soils. Pharmaceutical concentrations were measured using devices financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, projects CENAKVA (No. CZ.1.05/2.1.00/01.0024), CENAKVA Center Development (No. CZ.1.05/2.1.00/19.0380) and CENAKVA II (No. LO1205 under the NPU I program). The work was also supported by European Regional Development Fund, project Centre for the investigation of synthesis and transformation of nutritional substances in the food chain in interaction with potentially harmful substances of anthropogenic origin: comprehensive assessment of soil contamination risks for the quality of agricultural products (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_019/0000845).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4333_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (881 kb)
Supplemental material 1 : additional information (3 figures and 5 tables referred in the manuscript) (PDF 880 kb)
11356_2019_4333_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (818 kb)
Supplemental material 2 : The results of initial method validation and documentation of QA/QC (PDF 817 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Dept. of Soil Science and Soil ProtectionCzech University of Life Sciences PraguePrague 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, South Bohemian Research Center of Aquaculture and Biodiversity of HydrocenosesUniversity of South Bohemia in České BudějoviceVodňanyCzech Republic

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