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Fluoroquinolones in the Wenyu River Catchment, China: Occurrence simulation and risk assessment

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Concern is increasing regarding the environmental impact of the high usage rate and intensive release of antibiotics used for human and animal therapy in major urban areas of China. In this study, regional environmental distribution simulation and risk assessment for three commonly used fluoroquinolones in the Wenyu River Catchment were conducted using a typical catchment model widely used in the Europe. The fluoroquinolone antibiotics investigated (i.e., ofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ciprofloxacin) are consumed at high levels for personal health care in China. These antibiotics were simulated in the aquatic environment of the Wenyu River Catchment across the Beijing City area in this study for annual average concentrations, with regional predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) around 711 ng/L, 55.3 ng/L, and 22.2 ng/L, and local PECs up to 1.8 µg/L, 116 ng/L, and 43 ng/L, respectively. Apart from hydrological conditions, the concentrations of fluoroquinolones were closely associated with the sewage treatment plants (STPs) and their serving population, as well as hospital distributions. The presence of these fluoroquinolones in the catchment of this study showed significant characteristics of the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment in an urban river, a typical kind of “down‐the‐drain” chemicals. Significantly high concentrations of specific antibiotics were indicative of non‐negligible risks caused by the intensive use in the local aquatic environment in a metropolis area, particularly ofloxacin in upstream Shahe Reservoir, middle stream and downstream Qing River, and Liangma River to Ba River segment. And specific treatment measures for these PPCPs in STPs are required for such a kind of metropolis area. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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