First report of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in two tropical rivers of southwestern India

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Environmental Monitoring and Assessment


The occurrence of selected pharmaceuticals (trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, chloramphenicol, bezafibrate, ceftriaxone, and naproxen) in two west-flowing tropical rivers (Swarna and Nethravati) of southwestern India is reported for the first time. Water samples were collected during the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons from river water end members and further downstream up to their confluence with the adjacent Arabian Sea. Samples were analyzed using HPLC–MS/MS. Results revealed that there were no significant seasonal variations in concentrations of target analytes in both the rivers. Of the total number of samples analyzed (n = 24), trimethoprim was detected in 100% of the samples, whereas sulfamethoxazole (SMX), chloramphenicol (CAP), ceftriaxone (CTX), and naproxen (NPX) were detected in between 91 and 58% of the samples. Bezafibrate (BZF) was not detected in the samples. Nethravathi river showed higher concentrations of pharmaceuticals than the Swarna river which may be attributed to comparatively larger human population in the basin. Possible impacts of PPCPs on aquatic life offer further scope for study.



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