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Environmental science. Processes & impacts

Occurrence, distribution and risks of antibiotics in urban surface water in Beijing, China.


PMID 26245300

Abstract

The occurrence and distribution of 22 antibiotics, including eight fluoroquinolones, nine sulfonamides and five macrolides, were investigated in the urban surface waters in Beijing, China. A total of 360 surface water samples were collected from the main rivers and lakes in the urban area of Beijing monthly from July 2013 to June 2014 (except the frozen period). Laboratory analyses revealed that antibiotics were widely used and extensively distributed in the surface water of Beijing, and sulfonamides and fluoroquinolones were the predominant antibiotics with the average concentrations of 136 and 132 ng L(-1), respectively. A significant difference of antibiotic concentrations from different sampling sites was observed, and the southern and eastern regions of Beijing showed higher concentrations of antibiotics. Seasonal variation of the antibiotics in the urban surface water was also studied, and the highest level of antibiotics was found in November, which may be due to the low temperature and flow of the rivers during the period of cold weather. Risk assessment showed that several antibiotics might pose high ecological risks to aquatic organisms (algae and plants) in surface water, and more attention should be paid to the risk of antibiotics to the aquatic environment in Beijing.

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