Pharmaceutical uptake kinetics in rainbow trout: In situ bioaccumulation in an effluent-dominated river influenced by snowmelt.Sci Total Environ. 2020 Sep 20; 736:139603.ST
Whether seasonal instream flow dynamics influence bioaccumulation of pharmaceuticals by fish is not well understood, specifically for urban lotic systems in semi-arid regions when flows are influenced by snowmelt. We examined uptake of select pharmaceuticals in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) caged in situ upstream and at incremental distances downstream (0.1, 1.4, 13 miles) from a municipal effluent discharge to East Canyon Creek in Park City, Utah, USA during summer and fall of 2018. Fish were sampled over 7-d to examine if uptake occurred, and to define uptake kinetics. Water and fish tissues were analyzed via isotope dilution liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Several pharmaceuticals were consistently detected in water, fish tissue and plasma, including carbamazepine, diphenhydramine, diltiazem, and fluoxetine. Pharmaceutical levels in water ranged up to 151 ng/L for carbamazepine, whereas the effluent tracer sucralose was consistently observed at low μg/L levels. During both summer and fall experiments at each of three downstream locations from effluent discharge, rainbow trout rapidly accumulated these pharmaceuticals; tissue levels reached steady state conditions within 24-96 h. Spatial and temporal differences for pharmaceutical levels in rainbow trout directly corresponded with surface water exposure concentrations, and uptake kinetics for individual pharmaceuticals did not vary among sites or seasons. Such observations are consistent with recent laboratory bioconcentration studies, which collectively indicate inhalational exposure from water governs rapid accumulation of ionizable base pharmaceuticals by fish in inland surface waters.