Occurrence, fate and assessment of polar metamizole (dipyrone) residues in hospital and municipal wastewater

Feldmann, D. F.; Zühlke, S.; Heberer, T.

The occurrence and fate of residues from the therapeutic use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug metamizole have been studied in investigations of sewage effluents from a military hospital, municipal sewers and a sewage treatment plant (STP) in Berlin, Germany. The loads of the metabolites aminoantipyrin (AA), 4-acetylaminoantipyrin (AAA) and 4-formyl-aminoantipyrin (FAA), rapidly formed after the application of metamizole, were predicted from pharmacokinetic data and based on the evaluation of extensive data sets of on the administration in hospitals and private households. In parallel, the actual concentrations were measured within three field trials. For the military hospital, the estimated average annual discharges of AA/AAA and FAA were 10.5 and 3.2 kg, respectively. For the STP, annual loads of 333 and 133 kg were determined for AA/AAA and FAA, respectively. During sewage treatment, an average decrease of 26% of the loads was measured for AA/AAA whereas no changes were observed for FAA. Generally, the prediction of the loads resulted in an overestimation of the residue levels compared to those measured in the respective sewers. Thus, modeling of predicted loads or concentrations alone will not be sufficient for a realistic assessment. Concerns for human or other mammals' health are not expected from the occurrence of metamizole residues in the aquatic system measured at concentrations up to 7 mu g l(-1) in STIR effluents. However, a rest of uncertainty remains as it was not possible to derive a no observed effect level for the induction of rare but potentially fatal toxicological side effects reported for metamizole. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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Feldmann, D. F. / Zühlke, S. / Heberer, T.: Occurrence, fate and assessment of polar metamizole (dipyrone) residues in hospital and municipal wastewater. 2008.

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