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Environmental toxicology and chemistry

The effect of pH and ionic strength on the sorption of sulfachloropyridazine, tylosin, and oxytetracycline to soil.


PMID 16629129

Abstract

Antimicrobial agents are the most heavily used pharmaceuticals in intensive husbandry. Their usual discharge pathway is application to agricultural land as constituents of animal manure, which is used as fertilizer. Many of these compounds undergo pH-dependent speciation and, therefore, might occur as charged species in the soil environment. Hence, pH and ionic strength of the soil suspension can affect the sorption behavior of these compounds to soil. Consequently, the soil sorption of three antimicrobial agents--sulfachloropyridazine (SCP), tylosin (TYL), and oxytetracycline (OTC)--was investigated. Their respective sorption coefficients in two agricultural soils ranged from 1.5 to 1,800 L/kg. Sorption coefficients were greater under acidic conditions. Addition of an electrolyte to the solution led to decreased sorption of TYL and OTC by a factor of 3 to 20, but it did not influence the sorption of SCP. This behavior was analyzed by accounting for the pH-dependent speciation of TYL and OTC and considering the presence of OTC-calcium complexes. It appears that the decreased sorption of TYL and OTC with increasing ionic strength results from competition of the electrolyte cations with the positively charged TYL species and the positively charged OTC complexes. A model linking sorbate speciation with species-specific sorption coefficients can describe the pH dependence of the apparent sorption coefficients. This modeling approach is proposed for implementation in the assessment of sorption of ionizable compounds.

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