Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Studying the chemistry of drugs in wastewater

04.10.2004


What happens to painkillers, antibiotics and other medicines after their work is done, and they end up in the wastewater stream? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is using laboratory experiments to help answer this question by studying what happens to pharmaceuticals when they react with chlorine--a disinfectant commonly used in wastewater treatment.



Scientists around the world often find drugs in water samples taken from streams and other waterways, but little is known about byproducts of those drugs created during chlorine treatment or time spent in the environment. The topic drew a large audience at the American Chemical Society annual meeting last month, where NIST chemist Mary Bedner was one of several presenters. Among the concerns is possible damage to the environment, animals or people from bioactive compounds.

NIST chemists selected four pharmaceuticals sometimes found in the environment, studied their reactions with chlorine over an hour (a timescale during which significant wastewater treatment occurs) and identified the resulting products using multiple techniques. Scientists found that the reactions are complicated and often produce several products, some unexpected. For instance, acetaminophen forms multiple products, two of which are highly toxic. All the drugs were transformed significantly, and their products were generally more "hydrophobic" than the parent pharmaceuticals. Hydrophobic compounds are more likely to build up in the body. It is not known whether these reaction products pose any health or environmental hazards.


"We have unique measurement capabilities here at NIST, which help to confirm the presence of products that are difficult to identify," says chemist William MacCrehan. Measurement techniques and data collected throughout the project should help other laboratories further investigate possible health or environmental effects.

Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells
22.02.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht New insights into the information processing of motor neurons
22.02.2017 | Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>