Veterinary pharmaceutical residues in water resources and tap water in an intensive husbandry area in France

Abstract : In intensive livestock areas, veterinary pharmaceutical residues (VPRs) can occur in water resources, but also in tap water because treatment processes are not designed to remove these contaminants. The main objective of this study is to assess the occurrence of VPRs in water resources and tap waters in Brittany. As several identical compounds are used in both veterinary and human medicine, a toolbox (stanols and pharmaceuticals) is used to help determine the origin of contamination in the case of mixed-use molecules. Water resources samples were collected from 25 sites (23 surface waters and two groundwaters) used for tap water production and located in watersheds considered as sensitive due to intensive husbandry activities. Samples were also taken at 23 corresponding tap water sites. A list of 38 VPRs of interest was analyzed. In water resources, at least one VPR was quantified in 32% of the samples. 17 different VPRs were quantified, including antibiotics, antiparasitic drugs and anti-inflammatory drugs. Concentration levels ranged between 5 ng/L and 2946 ng/L. Mixed-use pharmaceuticals were quantified in twelve samples of water resources and among these samples nine had a mixed overall fecal contamination. In the context of this large-scale study, it appeared difficult to determine precisely the factors impacting the occurrence of VPRs. VPRs were quantified in 20% of the tap water samples. Twelve VPRs were quantified, including ten compounds exclusively used in veterinary medicine and two mixed-use compounds. Concentration levels are inferior to 40 ng/L for all compounds, with the exception of the antibiotic florfenicol which was quantified at 159 ng/L and 211 ng/L. The population of Brittany may therefore be exposed to these contaminants through tap water. These observations should be put into perspective with the detection frequencies per compound which are all below 10% in both water resources and tap water.
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Lise Charuaud, Emilie Jardé, Anne Jaffrézic, Marine Liotaud, Quentin Goyat, et al.. Veterinary pharmaceutical residues in water resources and tap water in an intensive husbandry area in France. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2019, 664, pp.605-615. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.303⟩. ⟨insu-01999303⟩

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