The occurrence of pharmaceuticals has been confirmed in floating plastics from two coastal areas and published in Science of the Total Environment.
The role of floating plastics as integrative samplers of organic contaminants of legacy and emerging concern, including pharmaceuticals, has been evaluated in two Western Mediterranean coastal areas: Mar Menor lagoon and Ebro Delta. The occurrence of pharmaceuticals was confirmed in all the floating plastic samples, being ketoprofen the predominant one detected (>50 % of the samples). Salicylic acid (37.5 %) showed the highest concentration (564 ng/g) in the coastal lagoon. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen were also commonly found. The mean concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the lagoon were lower than those found for UV-filters and similar to PAHs and organochlorinated pesticides. This work is one of the first studies which evidence of the accumulation of pharmaceuticals in floating plastics, which can represent an additional pathway of exposure for marine organisms, particularly close to the main pollution sources. This study has been performed in collaboration among the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC), the partner of this project Coruña University and the Catalan Institute for Water Research through PHARMASEA (PCI2021-121933) and the PLASMED (CICYT, CTM2017-89701-C3) projects.
Reference: García-Pimentel, M.M., Fernández, B., Campillo, J.A.., Castaño-Ortiz, J.M., Gil-Solsona, R., Fernández-González, V., Muniategui-Lorenzo, S., Rodríguez-Mozaz, S., León, V.M. 2023. Floating plastics as integrative samplers of organic contaminants of legacy and emerging concern from Western Mediterranean coastal areas. Science of the Total Environment 905, 166828.