Sorption, plant uptake and metabolism of benzodiazepines

Reuse of treated wastewater for irrigation of crops is growing in arid and semi-arid regions, whilst increasing amounts of biosolids are being applied to fields to improve agricultural outputs. Due to incomplete removal in the wastewater treatment processes, pharmaceuticals present in treated wastewater and biosolids can contaminate soil systems. Benzodiazepines are a widely used class of pharmaceuticals that are released following wastewater treatment. Benzodiazepines are represented by a class of compounds with a range of physicochemical properties and this study was therefore designed to evaluate the influence of soil properties on the sorption behaviour and subsequent uptake of seven benzodiazepines (chlordiazepoxide, clonazepam, diazepam, flurazepam, oxazepam, temazepam and triazolam) in two plant species. The sorption and desorption behaviour of benzodiazepines was strongly influenced by soil type and hydrophobicity of the chemical. The partitioning behaviour of these chemicals in soil was a key controller of the uptake and accumulation of benzodiazepines by radish (Raphanus sativus) and silverbeet (Beta vulgaris). Benzodiazepines such as oxazepam that were neutral, had low sorption coefficients (Kd) or had pH-adjusted log octanol-water partition coefficients (log Dow, pH6.3) values close to 2 had the greatest extent of uptake. Conversely, benzodiazepines such as flurazepam that had an ionised functional groups and greater Kd values had comparatively limited accumulation in the selected plant species. Results also revealed active in-plant metabolism of benzodiazepines, potentially analogous to the known metabolic transformation pathway of benzodiazepines in humans. Along with this observed biological transformation of benzodiazepines in exposed plants, previously work has established the widespread presence of the plant signalling molecule ?-amino butyric acid (GABA), which is specifically modulated by benzodiazepines in humans. This highlights the need for further assessment of the potential for biological activity of benzodiazepines following their plant uptake.

Authors: Carter LJ, Williams M, Martin S, Kamaludeen SPB, Kookana RS. ; Full Source: Science of the Total Environment. 2018 Feb 8;628-629:18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.337. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Epub ahead of print][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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