An Investigation of the Potential Bioaccumulation of (S)-Amphetamine in the Hudson River

Sunday, February 14, 2016
Marissa Porter, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY
Illicit drugs and prescribed pharmaceuticals such as (S)-amphetamine are environmental contaminants that have the potential to damage aquatic ecosystems. Excess (S)-amphetamine capsules can be flushed down the toilet or excreted in urine and travel to wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In these facilities, the residual drugs are only partially removed and can still be detected in wastewater effluents. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential bioaccumulation of (S)-amphetamine in the Hudson River by using crayfish (Orconectes immunis) as an indicator. Crayfish were exposed to (S)-amphetamine concentrations of 2.0 and 200.0 ng/L in aquatic tanks filled with raw river water over a 2 week period. In addition, controls were established using a raw river water flow-through system, a raw river water non-flowing system, and cages suspended directly in the river. At the termination of the experiment, crayfish were euthanized and chemically digested in high purity HNO3. ICP-OES was used to detect differences in Ca2+ and Mg2+ content between treated and control crayfish. HPLC was used in quantitative presence/absence detection of (S)-amphetamine in treated crayfish. The results of HPLC did not confirm the presence of (S)-amphetamine in exposed crayfish. ICP-OES results indicated differences in Ca2+ content in comparison with controls, but not Mg2+. Although HPLC results did not detect the presence of (S)-amphetamine in exposed crayfish, differences in elemental composition raise concern about the potential impact of anthropogenic contamination on the health of aquatic species.