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    Sartans are a group of pharmaceuticals widely used to regulate blood pressure. Their concentration levels were monitored in 80 wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in the Baltic Sea Region, reached from limit of detection up to 6 µg/L. The concentrations were significantly different in different countries, but consistent within the respective country. The degradation of sartans (losartan, valsartan, irbesartan) in moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) that utilize biofilms grown on mobile carriers to treat wastewater was investigated for the first time, and compared with the degradation in a conventional activated sludge (CAS) treatment plant. The results showed the formation of six microbial transformation products (TPs) of losartan, four of valsartan, and four of irbesartan in biological wastewater treatment. Four of these metabolites have not been described in the literature before. Chemical structures were suggested and selected TPs were verified and quantified depending on availability of true standards. Valsartan acid was a common TP of losartan, valsartan, and irbesartan. Losartan and irbesartan also shared one TP: losartan/irbesartan TP335. Based on the mass balance analysis, losartan carboxylic acid is the main TP of losartan, and valsartan acid is the main TP of valsartan during the biotransformation process. For irbesartan, TP447 is likely to be the main TP, as its peak areas were two orders of magnitude higher than those of all the other detected TPs of this compound. The effects of adapting biofilms to different biological oxygen demand (BOD) loading on the degradation of sartans as well as the formation of their TPs were investigated. Compared to feeding a poor substrate (pure effluent wastewater from a CAS), feeding with richer substrate (1/3 raw and 2/3 effluent wastewater) promoted the metabolism of most compounds (co-metabolization). However, the addition of raw wastewater inhibited some metabolic pathways of other compounds, such as from losartan/irbesartan to TP335 (competitive inhibition). The formation of irbesartan TP447 did not change with or without raw wastewater. Finally, the sartans and their TPs were investigated in a full-scale CAS wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The removal of losartan, valsartan, and irbesartan ranged from 3.0 % to 72% and some of the transformation products (TPs) from human metabolism were also removed in the WWTP. However, some of the sartan TPs, i.e., valsartan acid, losartan carboxylic acid, irbesartan TP443 and losartan TP453, were formed in the WWTP. Relative high amounts of especially losartan carboxylic acid, which was detected with concentrations up to 2.27 µg/L were found in the effluent. Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


    Rui Li, Chuanzhou Liang, Sif B Svendsen, Vaidotas Kisielius, Kai Bester. Sartan blood pressure regulators in classical and biofilm wastewater treatment - Concentrations and metabolism. Water research. 2022 Nov 16;229:119352

    PMID: 36450176

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