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Title: Antibiotics in the Basque coast (N Spain): Occurrence in waste and receiving waters, and risk assessment (2017-2020)
Authors: Solaun, Oihana; Rodriguez, Jose German; Borja, Angel; Zonja, Bozo; Postigo, Cristina; Barcelo, Damia; Lopez de Aida, Miren; Larreta, Joana
Abstract: The study of the presence of antibiotics in the aquatic environment is a preliminary step to analyse their possible harmful effects on aquatic ecosystems. In order to monitor their occurrence in the aquatic environment, the European Commission established in 2015, 2018, and 2020 three Watch Lists of substances for Union-wide monitoring (Decisions (EU) 2015/495, 2018/840, and 2020/1161), where some antibiotics within the classes of macrolides, fluoroquinolones and penicillins were included. In the Basque coast, northern Spain, three macrolide antibiotics (erythromycin, clarithromycin, azithromycin) and ciprofloxacin were monitored quarterly from 2017 to 2020 (covering a period before and after the COVID19 outbreak), in water samples collected from two Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs), and three control points associated with receiving waters (transitional and coastal water bodies). This work was undertaken for the Basque Water Agency (URA). The three macrolide antibiotics in water showed a frequency of quantification >65 \% in the Basque coast, with higher concentrations in the WWTP emission stations than in receiving waters. Their frequency of quantification decreased from 2017 to 2020, as did the consumption of antibiotics in Spanish primary care since 2015. Ciprofloxacin showed higher frequencies of quantification in receiving waters than in wastewaters, but the highest concentrations were observed in the WWTP emission stations. Although consumption of fluoroquinolones (among which is ciprofloxacin) in primary care in the Basque Country has decreased in recent years, this trend was not observed in the waters sampled in the present study. On the other hand, concentrations of clarithromycin, azithromycin, and ciprofloxacin in receiving waters exceeded their respective Predicted No-Effect Concentrations, so they could pose an environmental risk. These substances are widely used in human and animal medicine, so, although only ciprofloxacin is included in the third Watch List, it would be advisable to continue monitoring macrolides in the Basque coast as well.
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: ELSEVIER
Type: Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157563
ISSN: 0048-9697
E-ISSN: 1879-1026
Funder: Basque Water Agency (URA)
Generalitat de Catalunya [2017-SGR-14]
Ministry of Science and Innovation [CEX2018-000794-S]
Appears in Publication types:Artículos científicos

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