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Assessing antibiotic contamination in metal contaminated soils four years after cessation of long-term waste water irrigation.

Abstract : Spreading of urban wastewater on agricultural land may lead to concomitant input of organic and inorganic pollutants. Such multiple pollution sites offer unique opportunities to study the fate of both heavy metals and pharmaceuticals. We examined the occurrence and fate of selected antibiotics in sandy-textured soils, sampled four years after cessation of 100 years irrigation with urban wastewater from the Paris agglomeration. Previous studies on heavy metal contamination of these soils guided our sampling strategy. Six antibiotics were studied, including quinolones, with a strong affinity for organic and mineral soil components, and sulfonamides, a group of more mobile molecules. Bulk samples were collected from surface horizons in different irrigation fields, but also in subsurface horizons in two selected profiles. In surface horizons, three quinolones (oxolinic acid, nalidixic acid, and flumequine) were present in eight samples out of nine. Their contents varied spatially, but were well-correlated one to another. Their distributions showed great similarities regarding spatial distribution of total organic carbon and heavy metal contents, consistent with a common origin by wastewater irrigation. Highest concentrations were observed for sampling sites close to irrigation water outlets, reaching 22 μgkg−1 for nalidixic acid.Within soil profiles, the two antibiotic groups demonstrated an opposite behavior: quinolones, found only in surface horizons; sulfamethoxazole, detected in clay-rich subsurface horizons, concomitant with Zn accumulation. Such distribution patterns are consistent with chemical adsorption properties of the two antibiotic groups: immobilization of quinolones in the surface horizons ascribed to strong affinity for organicmatter (OM),migration of sulfamethoxazole due to a lower affinity for OM and its interception and retention in electronegative charged clay-rich horizons. Our work suggests that antibiotics may represent a durable contamination of soils, and risks for groundwater contamination, depending on the physicochemical characteristics both of the organic molecules and of soil constituents.
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Sci Tot Environ,2011,409(3),54...
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Fatima Tamtam, Fok van Oort, Barbara Le Bot, Tuc Dinh, Sophie Mompelat, et al.. Assessing antibiotic contamination in metal contaminated soils four years after cessation of long-term waste water irrigation.. Science of the Total Environment, Elsevier, 2010, 409 (3), pp.540-547. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.10.033⟩. ⟨hal-00647629⟩

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