Ubiquitous detection of artificial sweeteners and iodinated x-ray contrast media in aquatic environmental and wastewater treatment plant samples from Vietnam, the Philippines, and Myanmar


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Science Education

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Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology





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Water samples from Vietnam, The Philippines, and Myanmar were analyzed for artificial sweeteners (ASs) and iodinated X-ray contrast media (ICMs). High concentrations (low micrograms per liter) of ASs, including aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose, were found in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influents from Vietnam. Three ICMs, iohexol, iopamidol, and iopromide were detected in Vietnamese WWTP influents and effluents, suggesting that these ICMs are frequently used in Vietnam. ASs and ICMs were found in river water from downtown Hanoi at concentrations comparable to or lower than the concentrations in WWTP influents. The ASs and ICMs concentrations in WWTP influents and adjacent surface water significantly correlated (r 2 = 0.99, p < 0.001), suggesting that household wastewater is discharged directly into rivers in Vietnam. Acesulfame was frequently detected in northern Vietnamese groundwater, but the concentrations varied spatially by one order of magnitude even though the sampling points were very close together. This implies that poorly performing domestic septic tanks sporadically leak household wastewater into groundwater. High acesulfame, cyclamate, saccharin, and sucralose concentrations were found in surface water from Manila, The Philippines. The sucralose concentrations were one order of magnitude higher in the Manila samples than in the Vietnamese samples, indicating that more sucralose is used in The Philippines than in Vietnam. Acesulfame and cyclamate were found in surface water from Pathein (rural) and Yangon (urban) in Myanmar, but no ICMs were found in the samples. The ASs concentrations were two-three orders of magnitude lower in the samples from Myanmar than in the samples from Vietnam and The Philippines, suggesting that different amounts of ASs are used in these countries. We believe this is the first report of persistent ASs and ICMs having ubiquitous distributions in economically emerging South Asian countries. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


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Environmental Engineering


Sewage disposal; Sewage; Nonnutritive sweeteners

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