Occurrence of illicit drugs in two wastewater treatment plants in the South of Italy

Gaspare Viviani, Alida Cosenza, Francesca Di Gaudio, Carmelo Massimo Maida, Carmelo Massimo Maida, Donatella Piscionieri, Serena Fanara, Francesca Di Gaudio, Serena Fanara

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24 Citations (Scopus)


In this study the occurrence and the behavior of illicit drugs and their metabolites have been investigated for two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) (namely, WWTP-1 and WWTP-2) located in Sicily (island of Italy). Samples were analyzed for methamphetamine, cocaine (COC), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methadone (METH), 2-ethylidene-1,5-dimethyl-3,3-diphenylpyrrolidine (EDDP), 3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine (MDA); 3,4-methylenedioxy ethylamphetamine (MDEA), 11-nor-9-carboxy-Î9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) and Benzoylecgonine (BEG). The BEG, COC, MOR and THC-COOH were found at the highest concentration in both WWTPs. The Wastewater-based epidemiology calculation for BEG, COC, cannabinoids and THC-COOH was performed. On average, for both plants, population consumes 1.6 and 23.4 dose 1000 inhâ1dayâ1of cocaine and cannabis, respectively. For WWTP-1 negative removals of illicit drugs were observed. For WWTP-2 the following average removal efficiencies were obtained: BEG (77.85%), COC (92.34%), CODEINE (64.75%), MOR (90.16%) and THC-COOH (68.64%).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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