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 The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg

nachricht Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
25.07.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>