An analysis of the spatio-temporal occurrence of anthelmintic veterinary drug residues in groundwater
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CitationD. Mooney, K.G. Richards, M. Danaher, J. Grant, L. Gill, P.-E. Mellander, C.E. Coxon, An analysis of the spatio-temporal occurrence of anthelmintic veterinary drug residues in groundwater, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 769, 2021, 144804, ISSN 0048-9697, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144804.
AbstractAnthelmintics are antiparasitic drugs used to control helminthic parasites such as nematodes and trematodes in animals, particularly those exposed through pasture-based production systems. Even though anthelmintics have been shown to be excreted into the environment in relatively high amounts as unmetabolized drug or transformation products (TPs), there is still only limited information available on their environmental occurrence, particularly in groundwater, which has resulted in them being considered as potential emerging contaminants of concern. A comprehensive study was carried out to investigate the occurrence of 40 anthelmintic residues (including 13 TPs) in groundwaters (and associated surface waters) throughout the Republic of Ireland. The study focused on investigating the occurrence of these contaminants in karst and fractured bedrock aquifers, with a total of 106 sites (88 groundwaters and 18 surface waters) samples during spring 2017. Seventeen anthelmintic compounds consisting of eight parent drugs and nine TPs were detected at 22% of sites at concentrations up to 41 ng L−1. Albendazole and its TPs were most frequently detected residues, found at 8% of groundwater sites and 28% of surface water sites. Multivariate statistical analysis identified several source and pathway factors as being significantly related to the occurrence of anthelmintics in groundwater, however there was an evident localised effect which requires further investigation. An investigation of the temporal variations in occurrence over a 13 month period indicated a higher frequency and concentration of anthelmintics during February/March and again later during August/September 2018, which coincided with periods of increased usage and intensive meteorological events. This work presents the first detections of these contaminants in Irish groundwater and it contributes to broadening our understanding of anthelmintics in the environment. It also provides insight to seasonal trends in occurrence, which is critical for assessing potential future effects and implications of climate change.
FunderScience Foundation Ireland (SFI); European Regional Development Fund
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