Seasonal Occurrence of Ibuprofen in Sediment, Water, and Biota in River Owena and Ogbese, and its Ecological Risk Assessment

A. Ogunwole Germaine 1  and K. Saliu Joseph 2
  • 1 Department of Biology, School of Science, Federal University of Technology, Ondo, Nigeria
  • 2 Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria


The volume of pharmaceuticals discharged into the environment increases daily as a consequence of human life. In the present study, the seasonal variation of ibuprofen in sediment, biota, water, and their exposure risk were investigated in River Owena and Ogbese, Nigeria. The high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer (HPLC-MS/MS) was used to analyze the samples after clean up and pre-concentration by solid-phase extraction. The mean concentration of IBU in the samples spanned a range of 1.75 - 2.75 μg/g in sediment, 0.01 – 15.00 μg/g in fish, and 0.00002 – 0.005 μg/ml in water. The measurement of IBU in the sediment and water was significantly elevated in the dry season than the wet season, whereas the opposite was the case in biota. There was a significant interaction between season, media, and rivers with respect to IBU occurrence in the sampled rivers. The calculated bio-water accumulation factor (BWAF) was as high as 750,000 μg/g in fish, proving IBU is extremely bio-accumulative. The ecotoxicological risk assessment for average and worst possible outcome showed that the risk quotient (RQ) for IBU present in the water was sufficient to cause toxicity to fish in both freshwater bodies. The potential bioavailability of IBU to aquatic fauna for prolonged periods spanning several months can result in its circling back into the food web afterward. The baseline info provided by this study in these freshwaters may provide valuable information for the implementation of safety limits for the management of IBU influx into the environment.

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