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The Llobregat pp 167-192 | Cite as

Occurrence and Fate of Sulfonamide Antibiotics in Surface Waters: Climatic Effects on Their Presence in the Mediterranean Region and Aquatic Ecosystem Vulnerability

  • María Jesús García-GalánEmail author
  • M. Silvia Díaz-Cruz
  • Damià Barceló
Chapter
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 21)

Abstract

Surface water bodies are constantly exposed to pollutant inputs of different origin. Wastewater effluents discharge directly on the receiving natural streams, and are among the main entrance pathways for sulfonamides. Strong contrast between seasons, with the consequent fluctuations in the flow rates, and heavy contamination pressures from extensive urban, industrial, and agricultural activities are characteristics of water courses located in the Mediterranean area. The low base flows of Mediterranean rivers makes their hydrology cycle heavily dependent on wastewater inputs, and therefore removal efficiencies of wastewater treatment plants are key to the health of the aquatic ecosystem.

Keywords

Environmental risk assessment Mediterranean region Removal efficiency Sulfonamide Surface waters Wastewater treatment plant 

Abbreviations

AcSMZ

N4-acetylsulfamethazine

ARGs

Antibiotic resistance genes

CAFO

Confined animal-feeding operation

CAS

Conventional activated sludge

EC50

Median effective concentration

EMEA

European medicine agency

ERA

Environmental risk assessment

EU

European Union

FEDESA

European federation of animal health

HQ

Hazard quotient

LC50

Median letal concentration

MBR

Membrane bioreactor

ME

Measured environmental concentration

NOEC

Non observed effect concentration

PEC

Predicted environmental concentration

PhP

Pharmaceuticals

PNEC

Predicted no-effect concentration

RE%

Removal efficiency

SA

Sulfonamide

SDM

Sulfadimethoxine

SDZ

Sulfadiazine

SMP

Sulfamethoxypyridazine

SMR

Sulfamerazine

SMX

Sulfamethoxazole

SMZ

Sulfamethazine

SPY

Sulfapyridine

STZ

Sulfathiazole

US

United States

WFD

Water frame directive

WHO

World Health Organization

WWTP

Wastewater treatment plant

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work has been funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the projects CEMAGUA (CGL2007-64551/HID) and SCARCE (Consolider Ingenio 2010 CSD2009-00065). MJ García acknowledges AGAUR (Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain) for economic support through an FI pre-doctoral grant.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Jesús García-Galán
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Silvia Díaz-Cruz
    • 1
  • Damià Barceló
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ChemistryIDAEA-CSICBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Catalan Institute for Water Res (ICRA)Parc Científic i Tecnològic de la Universitat de GironaGironaSpain
  3. 3.King Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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