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Tetracyclines contamination in European aquatic environments: A comprehensive review of occurrence, fate, and removal techniques


[ 1 ] Wydział Inżynierii Środowiska i Energetyki, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 2 ] Instytut Inżynierii Środowiska i Instalacji Budowlanych, Wydział Inżynierii Środowiska i Energetyki, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 3 ] Instytut Chemii i Elektrochemii Technicznej, Wydział Technologii Chemicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ SzD ] doctoral school student | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.10] Environmental engineering, mining and energy
[7.6] Chemical sciences

Year of publication


Published in


Journal year: 2024 | Journal volume: vol. 353

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Antibiotics
  • Tetracyclines
  • Surface water
  • Wastewater effluent
  • Groundwater
  • Europe

EN Tetracyclines are among the most commonly used antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections and the improvement of agricultural growth and feed efficiency. All compounds in the group of tetracyclines (tetracycline, chlorotetracycline, doxycycline, and oxytetracycline) are excreted in an unchanged form in urine at a rate of more than 70%. They enter the aquatic environment in altered and unaltered forms which affect aquatic micro- and macroorganisms. This study reviews the occurrence, fate, and removal techniques of tetracycline contamination in Europe. The average level of tetracycline contamination in water ranged from 0 to 20 ng/L. However, data regarding environmental contamination by tetracyclines are still insufficient. Despite the constant presence and impact of tetracyclines in the environment, there are no legal restrictions regarding the discharge of tetracyclines into the aquatic environment. To address these challenges, various removal techniques, including advanced oxidation, adsorption, and UV treatment, are being critically evaluated and compared. The summarized data contributes to a better understanding of the current state of Europe's waters and provides insight into potential strategies for future environmental management and policy development. Further research on the pollution and effects of tetracyclines in aquatic environments is therefore required.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

141519-1 - 141519-15





Article Number: 141519

Ministry points / journal


Impact Factor

8,8 [List 2022]

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