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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Occurrence and fate of barbiturates in the aquatic environment.

Barbiturates have been widely used as sedative hypnotics in the mid-1960s and since then mainly as veterinary drugs. To monitor their presence and fate in the aquatic environment, a method based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) has been developed to quantify butalbital, secobarbital, hexobarbital, aprobarbital, phenobarbital, and pentobarbital, all with a limit of detection (LOD) down to 1 ng/L. From the various investigated waste and surface water samples, barbiturates were only, but regularly detected in the Mulde, a tributary of the river Elbe in Germany at relevant concentrations up to several microg/L. Investigations of groundwater being affected with wastewater infiltration several decades ago also revealed a barbiturate pattern, indicating a strong recalcitrance of these drugs. To confirm this hypothesis, studies were carried out on biotic and abiotic degradation. Both, the biodegradability under aerobic conditions and hydrolysis did not show any degradation, implementing, that the investigated barbiturates, once released into the aquatic environment, show high stability over a long period of time.[1]


  1. Occurrence and fate of barbiturates in the aquatic environment. Peschka, M., Eubeler, J.P., Knepper, T.P. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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