Irrigation with reclaimed wastewater may result in the ubiquitous presence of pharmaceutical compounds (PCs) and their metabolites in the agroecosystem. In this study, we focused on two highly persistent anticonvulsant drugs, lamotrigine and carbamazepine and two of its metabolites (EP-CBZ and DiOH-CBZ), aiming to elucidate their behavior in agricultural ecosystem using batch and lysimeter experiments. Sorption of the studied compounds by soils was found to be governed mainly by the soil organic matter level. Sorption affinity of compounds to soils followed the order lamotrigine > carbamazepine > EP-CBZ > DiOH-CBZ. Sorption was reversible, and no competition between sorbates in bi-solute systems was observed. The results of the lysimeter studies were in accordance with batch experiment findings, demonstrating accumulation of lamotrigine and carbamazepine in top soil layers enriched with organic matter. Detection of carbamazepine and one of its metabolites in rain-fed wheat previously irrigated with reclaimed wastewater, indicates reversibility of their sorption, resulting in their potential leaching and their availability for plant uptake. This study demonstrates the long-term implication of introduction of PCs to the agroecosystem.
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