Occurrence of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in German Fish Tissue: A National Study

2012, Journals

Subedi, Bikram; Du, Bowen; Chambliss, C. Kevin; Koschorreck, Jan; Rüdel, Heinz; Quack, Markus; Brooks, Bryan W.; Usenko, Sascha
Environmental Science & Technology 46 (2012), 16, 9047–9054


German Environment Specimen Bank (GESB) fish tissue samples, collected from 14 different GESB locations, were analyzed for 15 pharmaceuticals, 2 pharmaceutical metabolites, and 12 personal care products. Only 2 pharmaceuticals, diphenhydramine and desmethylsertraline, were measured above MDL. Diphenhydramine (0.04-0.07 ng g-1 ww) and desmethylsertraline (1.65-3.28 ng g-1 ww) were measured at 4 and 2 locations, respectively. The maximum concentrations of galaxolide (HHCB) (447 ng g-1 ww) and tonalide (AHTN) (15 ng g-1 ww) were measured at the Rehlingen sampling site in the Saar River. A significant decrease in HHCB and AHTN fish tissue concentrations was observed from 1995 to 2008 at select GESB sampling sites (r2 = 0.69-0.89 for galaxolide and 0.89-0.97 for tonalide with p < 0.003). Galaxolide and tonalide fish tissue concentrations in Germany were ~19× and ~28× lower, respectively, as compared to fish tissue concentrations measured in a United States nationwide PPCP study conducted in 2006. Proximity of the sampling locations to the upstream wastewater treatment plant discharging point and mean annual flow at the sampling location were found to significantly predict galaxolide and tonalide fish tissue concentrations (HHCB: r2 = 0.79, p = 0.021 and AHTN: r2 = 0.81, p = 0.037) in Germany.