Identification of transformation products of carbamazepine in lettuce crops irrigated with Ultraviolet-C treated water

A. B. Martínez-Piernas, S. Nahim-Granados, M. I. Polo-López, P. Fernández-Ibáñez, S. Murgolo, G. Mascolo, A. Agüera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
227 Downloads (Pure)


Transformation of organic microcontaminants (OMCs) during wastewater treatments results in the generation of transformation products (TPs), which can be more persistent than parent compounds. Due to reuse of reclaimed wastewater (RWW) for crop irrigation, OMCs and TPs are released in soils being capable to translocate to crops. Furthermore, OMCs are also susceptible to transformation once they reach the soil or crops. The recalcitrant antiepileptic carbamazepine (CBZ) and some of its frequently reported TPs have been found in agricultural systems. However, there is no knowledge about the fate in reuse practices of multiple CBZ TPs that can be formed during wastewater treatment processes. For the first time, this work presents a study of the behavior of CBZ TPs generated after a conventional Ultraviolet-C (UVC) treatment in an agricultural environment. The UVC-treated water was used for the irrigation of lettuces grown under controlled conditions. The latter was compared to the fate of TPs generated in the peat and plant by irrigation with non-treated water containing CBZ. A suspect screening strategy was developed to identify the TPs using liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole-time-of-flight (LC-QTOF-MS). The results revealed the presence of 24 TPs, 22 in UVC-treated water, 11 in peat and 9 in lettuce leaves. 4 of the TPs identified in peat (iminostilbene, TP 271B, TP 285A-B); and 3 in leaves (10–11 dihydrocarbamazepine, TP 271A-B) were not previously reported in soils or edible parts of crops, respectively. Comparing the TPs found in peat and lettuces derived from both irrigation conditions, no significant differences regarding TPs formation or occurrence were observed. UVC treatment did not contribute to the formation of different TPs than those generated by transformation or metabolism of CBZ in peat or plant material. This research improves the current knowledge on the fate of CBZ TPs in agricultural systems because of reuse practices. A lab scale study has evidenced the potential translocation of non-previously reported CBZ TPs in a lettuce crop irrigated with UVC-treated water which contained CBZ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1019
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2019


  • Carbamazepine
  • Suspect screening
  • Transformation products
  • Wastewater reuse


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of transformation products of carbamazepine in lettuce crops irrigated with Ultraviolet-C treated water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this