Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Assessing Emissions from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Based on Temporal High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Data


Anliker, Sabine; Loos, Martin; Comte, Rahel; Ruff, Matthias; Fenner, Kathrin; Singer, Heinz (2020). Assessing Emissions from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Based on Temporal High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry Data. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(7):4110-4120.

Abstract

This study presents a nontarget approach to detect discharges from pharmaceutical production in municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents and to estimate their relevance on the total emissions. Daily composite samples were collected for 3 months at two WWTPs in Switzerland, measured using liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry, and time series were generated for all features detected. The extent of intensity variation in the time series was used to differentiate relatively constant domestic inputs from highly fluctuating industrial emissions. We show that an intensity variation threshold of 10 correctly classifies compounds of known origin and reveals clear differences between the two WWTPs. At the WWTP receiving wastewater from a pharmaceutical manufacturing site, (i) 10 times as many potential industrial emissions were detected as compared to the WWTP receiving purely domestic wastewater; (ii) for 11 pharmaceuticals peak concentrations, >10 μg/L and up to 214 μg/L were quantified, which are clearly above typical municipal wastewater concentrations; and (iii) a pharmaceutical not authorized in Switzerland was identified. Signatures of potential industrial emissions were even traceable at the downstream Rhine monitoring station at a >4000-fold dilution. Several of them occurred repeatedly, suggesting that they were linked to regular production, not to accidents. Our results demonstrate that small wastewater volumes from a single industry not only left a clear signature in the effluents of the respective WWTP but also influenced the water quality of one of Europe’s most important river systems. Overall, these findings indicate that pharmaceutical production is a relevant emission source even in highly developed countries with a strong focus on water quality, such as Switzerland.

Abstract

This study presents a nontarget approach to detect discharges from pharmaceutical production in municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents and to estimate their relevance on the total emissions. Daily composite samples were collected for 3 months at two WWTPs in Switzerland, measured using liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry, and time series were generated for all features detected. The extent of intensity variation in the time series was used to differentiate relatively constant domestic inputs from highly fluctuating industrial emissions. We show that an intensity variation threshold of 10 correctly classifies compounds of known origin and reveals clear differences between the two WWTPs. At the WWTP receiving wastewater from a pharmaceutical manufacturing site, (i) 10 times as many potential industrial emissions were detected as compared to the WWTP receiving purely domestic wastewater; (ii) for 11 pharmaceuticals peak concentrations, >10 μg/L and up to 214 μg/L were quantified, which are clearly above typical municipal wastewater concentrations; and (iii) a pharmaceutical not authorized in Switzerland was identified. Signatures of potential industrial emissions were even traceable at the downstream Rhine monitoring station at a >4000-fold dilution. Several of them occurred repeatedly, suggesting that they were linked to regular production, not to accidents. Our results demonstrate that small wastewater volumes from a single industry not only left a clear signature in the effluents of the respective WWTP but also influenced the water quality of one of Europe’s most important river systems. Overall, these findings indicate that pharmaceutical production is a relevant emission source even in highly developed countries with a strong focus on water quality, such as Switzerland.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
4 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

1 download since deposited on 05 Feb 2021
1 download since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:540 Chemistry
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Physical Sciences > Environmental Chemistry
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry
Language:English
Date:7 April 2020
Deposited On:05 Feb 2021 08:10
Last Modified:06 Feb 2021 21:03
Publisher:American Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN:0013-936X
Additional Information:This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science & Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.9b07085
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b07085

Download

Closed Access: Download allowed only for UZH members