SEATAC 2023 – Dylan O’Flynn Update

Study of the influence of seasonal conditions on the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in Irish surface waters

Small-molecule pharmaceuticals play an increasingly important role in both human and animal health. The ever-growing use and availability of pharmaceuticals in the last decade have led to the contamination of global surface water ecosystems from ng/L to µg/L concentrations. Additionally, the continuous release, stability and biological activity of these “micro-pollutants” can lead to a “pseudo persistence” in the environment, with ensuing behavioural and health-related effects. The analysis of 17 pharmaceutical APIs were chosen due to their occurrence in European surface waters, their inclusion in the WFDs’ “Watch List” and their low removal efficiency in conventional activated sludge
type wastewater treatment plants. Surface water grab samples were collected from EPA- recommended sampling locations from September 2020 to March 2022 to provide valuable evidence establishing their presence and identification and occurrence
pharmaceuticals in surface water catchments.


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