Incidence of anticancer drugs in an aquatic urban system: from hospital effluents through urban wastewater to natural environment.
Environ Pollut. 2014 Oct ;193:216-23. Epub 2014 Jul 22. PMID: 25062279
The presence of 10 anticancer drugs was studied along the entire urban water cycle -from hospital effluents through urban wastewater treatment plant till surface waters- and their potential environmental risk was assessed. Azathioprine, etoposide, docetaxel, paclitaxel, methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, tamoxifen and ciprofloxacin were detected in hospital effluent and in the urban influent of the sewage treatment plant although most of them were totally eliminated after WWTP. Only cyclophosphamide, tamoxifen and ciprofloxacin were found in both WWTP effluent and in the receiving river at a concentration range between nd-20 ng L(-1), 25-38 ng L(-1) and 7-103 ng L(-1) respectively. Tamoxifen and ciprofloxacin, commonly used for veterinary practices, were also detected in the river upstream the sewage discharge. In addition, they both were considered to pose a potential risk to the environment based on the levelsfound in the WWTP effluent together with their ecotoxicological impact in selected organisms.