Occurrence, elimination, and risk of anticoagulant rodenticides and drugs during wastewater treatment

Cristian Gómez-Canela, Carlos Barata, Silvia Lacorte

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Anticoagulants are biocides widely used as pest control agents in agriculture, urban infrastructures, and domestic applications for the control of rodents. Other anticoagulants such as warfarin and acenocoumarol are also used as drugs against thrombosis. After use, anticoagulants are discharged to sewage grids and enter wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Our hypothesis is that WWTP effluents can be a source of anticoagulants to receiving waters and that these can affect aquatic organisms and other nontarget species. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to determine the occurrence of 11 anticoagulants in WWTPs receiving urban and agricultural wastewaters. Warfarin was the most ubiquitous compound detected in influent waters and was partially eliminated during the activated sludge treatment, and low nanograms per liter concentration were found in the effluents. Other detected compounds were coumatetralyl, ferulenol, acenocoumarol, flocoumafen, brodifacoum, bromadiolone, and difenacoum at concentrations of 0.86-87.0 ng L-1. Considering water volumes of each WWTP, daily emissions were estimated to be 0.02 to 21.8 g day-1, and thus, WWTPs contribute to the loads of anticoagulants to receiving waters. However, low aquatic toxicity was observed using Daphnia magna as a model aquatic organism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7194-7203
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticoagulants
  • Drugs
  • Elimination
  • Rodenticides
  • Toxicity
  • Wastewater
  • Wastewater treatment plants


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