Eleven psychoactive pharmaceuticals including antidepressants were found in trouts from recipients of wastewater treatment effluents. Treated effluents from municipal sewage treatment plants (STPs) are important sources of pharmaceutically active compounds including psychoactive pharmaceuticals. Therefore, aquatic organisms living in streams affected by the effluent of STPs are exposed throughout their lives to these substances which could alter their behaviour.

This study was focused on exposure of brown trout (Salmo trutta) to natural conditions of a stream (Zivny stream) affected by the effluent of a STP (Prachatice) for defined time periods. Fish originated from the stream were caught in control locality, tagged and immediately restocked to locality downstream the effluent of STP (0.1 – 3 km). Fish were then caught and sampled after one, three and six months from the beginning of the exposure (October, January and April).

Eleven psychoactive pharmaceuticals (citalopram, clomipramine, haloperidol, hydroxyzine, levomepromazine, mianserin, mirtazapine, paroxetine, sertraline, tramadol and venlafaxine) were found above the limit of quantification in at least one fish tissue, whereas only six of them was found in water or in passive samplers. Liver and kidney were organs with the highest concentration of these compounds while in brain only antidepressant sertraline was detected. The results of unique experiment emphasized the significant contribution of bioaccumulation via food webs for some psychoactive pharmaceuticals (citalopram, mianserin, mirtazapine and sertraline) by the comparison of calculated bioaccumulation factor (BAF, exposure via water and food) with predicted bioconcentration factor (BCF, exposure only via water).

Detailed information can be found in publication: Grabicova, K., Grabic, R., Fedorova, G., Fick, J., Cerveny, D., Kolarova, J., Turek, J., Zlabek, V., Randak, T., 2017. Bioaccumulation of psychoactive pharmaceuticals in fish in an effluent dominated stream. Water Research, 124:654-662.

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