Comparative Mobility of Sulfonamides and Bromide Tracer in Three Soils
Journal of Environmental Management
In animal agriculture, sulfonamides are one of the routinely used groups of antimicrobials for therapeutic and sub-therapeutic purposes. It is observed that, the animals when administered the antimicrobials, often do not completely metabolize them; and excrete the partially metabolized forms into the environment. Due to the continued use of antimicrobials and disposal of untreated waste, widespread occurrence of partially metabolized antimicrobials in aquatic and terrestrial environments has been reported in various scientific journals. In this research, the mobility of two sulfonamides – sulfamethazine (SMN), sulfathiazole (STZ) and a conservative bromide tracer was investigated in three soils collected from regions in the United States with large number of concentrated animal-feed operations. Results of a series of column studies indicate that the mobility of these two sulfonamides was dependent on pH, soil charge density, and contact time. At low pH and high charge density, substantial retention of sulfonamides was observed in all three soils investigated, due to the increased fraction of cationic and neutral forms of the sulfonamides. Conversely, enhanced mobility was observed at high pH, where the sulfonamides are predominantly in the anionic form. The results indicate that when both SMN and STZ are predominantly in anionic forms, their mobility approximates the mobility of a conservative bromide tracer. This observation is consistent for the mobility of both SMN and STZ individually, and also in the presence of several other antimicrobials in all three soils investigated. Higher contact time indicates lower mobility due to increased interaction with soil material.
Kurwadkar, W., Adams, C., Meyer, M., Kolpin, D. (2011) “Comparative Mobility of Sulfonamides and Bromide Tracer in Three Soils,” Journal of Environmental Management, 92, 1874-1881.