Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studying The Chemistry Of Drugs In Wastewater

Date:
October 6, 2004
Source:
National Institute Of Standards And Technology
Summary:
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.

NIST research chemist Mary Bedner prepares to use liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to analyze the chemical byproducts produced by reacting pharmaceuticals with chlorine.
Credit: Photo courtesy of National Institute Of Standards And Technology

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute Of Standards And Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Studying The Chemistry Of Drugs In Wastewater." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041006084811.htm>.
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. (2004, October 6). Studying The Chemistry Of Drugs In Wastewater. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041006084811.htm
National Institute Of Standards And Technology. "Studying The Chemistry Of Drugs In Wastewater." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041006084811.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins