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Special Issue "Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jolanta Kumirska
E-Mail
Guest Editor
University of Gdansk, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Environmental Analysis, Wita Stwosza 63, 80-308 Gdansk, Poland
Interests: analytical chemistry; methods development; environmental protection; pharmaceutical analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pharmaceuticals, due to their pseudo-persistence and biological activity as well extensive use in human and veterinary medicine are a class of environmental contaminants of emerging concern. In opposite to some conventional pollutants, pharmaceuticals are continuously delivered at low levels, which might give rise to toxicity even without high persistence rates. These chemicals are designed to have a specific physiological mode of action, and frequently to resist to inactivation before exerting their intended therapeutic effect. These features among others make pharmaceuticals responsible for bioaccumulation and toxic effects in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Consumption of water containing pharmaceutical residues, especially in the long term, may upset the body’s equilibrium and lead to the dangerous phenomenon of drug resistance. The high biological activity of these compounds causes that it is extremely important to know how to remove them from the environment and/or how to perform their biological inactivation. Pharmaceuticals have been detected in the environment of 71 countries covering all continents. Such disturbance might have significant and long-term effects on the rate and stability of ecosystem functioning. Furthermore, their metabolites or degradation products may possess more toxic effects on the environment than the original compounds. For these reasons, the presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment has attracted attention within the scientific community around the world.

Hence the detection, determination and analysis of the fate of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites in different compartments of the environment are some of the main tasks of modern analytical and environmental chemistry. An important limitation of such studies is the availability of sufficiently sensitive and reliable analytical methods for determining different pharmaceuticals present in trace amounts in such complex matrices. Although great advances have been made in their detection in aquatic matrices, there are limited analytical methodologies for trace analysis of target and non-target pharmaceuticals in matrices such as soils, sediments or biota. There are still many gaps in robust data on their fate and behavior in the environment, as well as on threats to ecological and human health. This Special Issue will include current research and review articles in this field.

Prof. Dr. Jolanta Kumirska
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • pharmaceutical residues
  • fate in the environment
  • fate in WWTPs
  • ecotoxicity
  • antibiotic resistance
  • development of methods
  • environmental risk assessment

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Constructed Wetland Revealed Efficient Sulfamethoxazole Removal but Enhanced the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance Genes
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040834 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
Constructed wetlands (CWs) could achieve high removal efficiency of antibiotics, but probably stimulate the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). In this study, four CWs were established to treat synthetic wastewater containing sulfamethoxazole (SMX). SMX elimination efficiencies, SMX degradation mechanisms, dynamic fates of [...] Read more.
Constructed wetlands (CWs) could achieve high removal efficiency of antibiotics, but probably stimulate the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). In this study, four CWs were established to treat synthetic wastewater containing sulfamethoxazole (SMX). SMX elimination efficiencies, SMX degradation mechanisms, dynamic fates of ARGs, and bacterial communities were evaluated during the treatment period (360 day). Throughout the whole study, the concentration of SMX in the effluent gradually increased (p < 0.05), but in general, the removal efficiency of SMX remained at a very high level (>98%). In addition, the concentration of SMX in the bottom layer was higher compared with that in the surface layer. The main byproducts of SMX degradation were found to be 4-amino benzene sulfinic acid, 3-amino-5-methylisoxazole, benzenethiol, and 3-hydroxybutan-1-aminium. Temporally speaking, an obvious increase of sul genes was observed, along with the increase of SMX concentration in the bottom and middle layers of CWs. Spatially speaking, the concentration of sul genes increased from the surface layer to the bottom layer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Evaluation of the Possibility of Using Hydroponic Cultivations for the Removal of Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disrupting Compounds in Municipal Sewage Treatment Plants
Molecules 2020, 25(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25010162 - 31 Dec 2019
Abstract
The problem of the presence of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in the environment is closely related to municipal wastewater and in consequence to municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWWTPs) because wastewater is the main way in which these compounds are transferred to [...] Read more.
The problem of the presence of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in the environment is closely related to municipal wastewater and in consequence to municipal wastewater treatment plants (MWWTPs) because wastewater is the main way in which these compounds are transferred to the ecosystem. For this reason, the development of cheap, simple but very effective techniques for the removal of such residues from wastewater is very important. In this study, the analysis of the potential of using three new plants: Cyperus papyrus (Papyrus), Lysimachia nemorum (Yellow pimpernel), and Euonymus europaeus (European spindle) by hydroponic cultivation for the removal of 15 selected pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in an MWWTP is presented. In order to obtain the most reliable data, this study was performed using real WWTP conditions and with the determination of the selected analytes in untreated sewage, treated sewage, and in plant materials. For determining the target compounds in plant materials, an Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE)-Solid-Phase Extraction (SPE)-GC-MS(SIM) method was developed and validated. The obtained data proved that the elimination efficiency of the investigated substances from wastewater was in the range of 35.8% for diflunisal to above 99.9% for paracetamol, terbutaline, and flurbiprofen. Lysimachia nemorum was the most effective for the uptake of target compounds among the tested plant species. Thus, the application of constructed wetlands for supporting conventional MWWTPs allowed a significant increase in their removal from the wastewater stream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Soil Behaviour of the Veterinary Drugs Lincomycin, Monensin, and Roxarsone and Their Toxicity on Environmental Organisms
Molecules 2019, 24(24), 4465; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24244465 - 05 Dec 2019
Abstract
Lincomycin, monensin, and roxarsone are commonly used veterinary drugs. This study investigated their behaviours in different soils and their toxic effects on environmental organisms. Sorption and mobility analyses were performed to detect the migration capacity of drugs in soils. Toxic effects were evaluated [...] Read more.
Lincomycin, monensin, and roxarsone are commonly used veterinary drugs. This study investigated their behaviours in different soils and their toxic effects on environmental organisms. Sorption and mobility analyses were performed to detect the migration capacity of drugs in soils. Toxic effects were evaluated by inhibition or acute toxicity tests on six organism species: algae, plants, daphnia, fish, earthworms and quails. The log Kd values (Freundlich model) of drugs were: lincomycin in laterite soil was 1.82; monensin in laterite soil was 2.76; and roxarsone in black soil was 1.29. The Rf value of lincomycin, roxarsone, monensin were 0.4995, 0.4493 and 0.8348 in laterite soil, and 0.5258, 0.5835 and 0.8033 in black soil, respectively. The EC50 for Scenedesmus obliquus, Arabidopsis thaliana, Daphnia magna and LC50/LD50 for Eisenia fetida, Danio rerio, and Coturnix coturnix were: 13.15 mg/L,32.18 mg/kg dry soil,292.6 mg/L,452.7 mg/L,5.74 g/kg dry soil and 103.9 mg/kg (roxarsone); 1.085 mg/L, <25 mg/kg dry soil, 21.1 mg/L, 4.76 mg/L, 0.346 g/kg dry soil and 672.8 mg/kg (monensin); 0.813 mg/L, 35.40 mg/kg dry soil, >400 mg/L, >2800 mg/L, >15 g/kg dry soil, >2000 mg/kg (lincomycin). These results showed that the environmental effects of veterinary drug residues should not be neglected, due to their mobility in environmental media and potential toxic effects on environmental organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle
Insights into Mechanisms of Electrochemical Drug Degradation in Their Mixtures in the Split-Flow Reactor
Molecules 2019, 24(23), 4356; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24234356 - 28 Nov 2019
Abstract
The recirculating split-flow batch reactor with a cell divided into anolyte and catholyte compartments for oxidation mixture of cytostatic drugs (CD) was tested. In this study, kinetics and mechanisms of electrochemical oxidization of two mixtures: 5-FU/CP and IF/CP were investigated. The order of [...] Read more.
The recirculating split-flow batch reactor with a cell divided into anolyte and catholyte compartments for oxidation mixture of cytostatic drugs (CD) was tested. In this study, kinetics and mechanisms of electrochemical oxidization of two mixtures: 5-FU/CP and IF/CP were investigated. The order of the CD degradation rate in single drug solutions and in mixtures was found to be 5-FU < CP < IF. In the 5-FU/CP mixture, kapp of 5-FU increased, while kapp of CP decreased comparing to the single drug solutions. No effect on the degradation rate was found in the CP/IF mixture. The presence of a second drug in the 5-FU/CP mixture significantly altered mineralization and nitrogen removal efficiency, while these processes were inhibited in IF/CP. The experiments in the different electrolytes showed that •OH and sulphate active species can participate in the drug’s degradation. The kapp of the drugs was accelerated by the presence of Cl ions in the solution. Chlorine active species played the main role in the production of gaseous nitrogen products and increased the mineralisation. Good results were obtained for the degradation and mineralisation processes in mixtures of drugs in municipal wastewater-treated effluent, which is beneficial from the technological and practical point of view. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Influence of Ionic Liquids on the Effectiveness of Analytical Methods Used in the Monitoring of Human and Veterinary Pharmaceuticals in Biological and Environmental Samples—Trends and Perspectives
Molecules 2020, 25(2), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25020286 - 10 Jan 2020
Abstract
Recent years have seen the increased utilization of ionic liquids (ILs) in the development and optimization of analytical methods. Their unique and eco-friendly properties and the ability to modify their structure allows them to be useful both at the sample preparation stage and [...] Read more.
Recent years have seen the increased utilization of ionic liquids (ILs) in the development and optimization of analytical methods. Their unique and eco-friendly properties and the ability to modify their structure allows them to be useful both at the sample preparation stage and at the separation stage of the analytes. The use of ILs for the analysis of pharmaceuticals seems particularly interesting because of their systematic delivery to the environment. Nowadays, they are commonly detected in many countries at very low concentration levels. However, due to their specific physiological activity, pharmaceuticals are responsible for bioaccumulation and toxic effects in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems as well as possibly upsetting the body’s equilibrium, leading to the dangerous phenomenon of drug resistance. This review will provide a comprehensive summary of the use of ILs in various sample preparation procedures and separation methods for the determination of pharmaceuticals in environmental and biological matrices based on liquid-based chromatography (LC, SFC, TLC), gas chromatography (GC) and electromigration techniques (e.g., capillary electrophoresis (CE)). Moreover, the advantages and disadvantages of ILs, which can appear during extraction and separation, will be presented and attention will be given to the criteria to be followed during the selection of ILs for specific applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment)
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