Toxicity assessment of four pharmaceuticals in aquatic environment before and after ferrate(VI) treatment

Srinath Patibandla, Jia-Qian Jiang*, Xinhua Shu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
138 Downloads (Pure)


Micro-pollutants in aquatic environment are an emerging challenge to the human health and ecosystems. This study was to investigate the acute toxicity before and after ferrate(VI) treatment for four pharmaceuticals (simvastatin, ivermectin, fluoxetine and oxytetracycline) at concentrations of 10 and 100 μg/L, respectively. Zebrafish animal model and Vibrio fischeri luminescent test were employed to achieve the study targets. It is the first effort using the stated methods to assess toxicity of the selected pharmaceuticals before and after ferrate(VI) treatment when biochemical responses of catalase (CAT), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) were assessed in the zebrafish model. The results firstly revealed a significant change in the gene expression of CAT (p <0.001), TNF-α SOD 1 (p <0.01), and Bcl-2 (p <0.05) for simvastatin at low concentrations, which exhibited high toxicity in comparison with other pharmaceuticals. Ferrate(VI) treatment significantly reduced the toxicity of simvastatin by partially removing it during the treatment process and ferrate(VI) itself did not produce additional toxicity in the effluent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3787-3797
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number4
Early online date23 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • toxicity assessment
  • pharmaceutical industry
  • aquatic environment
  • Ferrate(VI)
  • Toxicity assessment
  • Waste water treatment
  • Zebrafish
  • Pharmaceuticals


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