A growing concern for contamination due to pharmaceutical compounds in groundwater is expanding globally. The β-blocker propranolol is a β-adrenoceptors antagonist commonly detected in European groundwater bodies. The effect of propranolol on stygobiotic species (obligate groundwater dweller species) is compelling in the framework of environmental risk assessment (ERA) of groundwater ecosystems. In fact, in Europe, ERA procedures for pharmaceuticals in groundwater are based on data obtained with surrogate surface water species. The use of surrogates has aroused some concern in the scientific arena since the first ERA guideline for groundwater was issued. We performed an ecotoxicological and a behavioural experiment with the stygobiotic crustacean species Diacyclops belgicus (Copepopda) to estimate a realistic value of the Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) of propranolol for groundwater ecosystems and we compared this value with the PNEC estimated based on EU ERA procedures. The results of this study showed that i) presently, propranolol does not pose a risk to groundwater bodies in Europe at the concentrations shown in this study and ii) the PNEC of propranolol estimated through the EU ERA procedures is very conservative and allows to adequately protect these delicate ecosystems and their dwelling fauna. The methodological approach and the results of this study represent a first contribution to the improvement of ERA of groundwater ecosystems.

Environmental risk assessment of propranolol in the groundwater bodies of Europe

Galante A.;Galassi D. M. P.
2019-01-01

Abstract

A growing concern for contamination due to pharmaceutical compounds in groundwater is expanding globally. The β-blocker propranolol is a β-adrenoceptors antagonist commonly detected in European groundwater bodies. The effect of propranolol on stygobiotic species (obligate groundwater dweller species) is compelling in the framework of environmental risk assessment (ERA) of groundwater ecosystems. In fact, in Europe, ERA procedures for pharmaceuticals in groundwater are based on data obtained with surrogate surface water species. The use of surrogates has aroused some concern in the scientific arena since the first ERA guideline for groundwater was issued. We performed an ecotoxicological and a behavioural experiment with the stygobiotic crustacean species Diacyclops belgicus (Copepopda) to estimate a realistic value of the Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) of propranolol for groundwater ecosystems and we compared this value with the PNEC estimated based on EU ERA procedures. The results of this study showed that i) presently, propranolol does not pose a risk to groundwater bodies in Europe at the concentrations shown in this study and ii) the PNEC of propranolol estimated through the EU ERA procedures is very conservative and allows to adequately protect these delicate ecosystems and their dwelling fauna. The methodological approach and the results of this study represent a first contribution to the improvement of ERA of groundwater ecosystems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/138556
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