The use of gadolinium-based contrasting agents (GBCA) is increasing because of the intensive usage of these agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Waste-water treatment does not reduce anthropogenic Gd-concentration significantly. Anomalous Gd-concentration in surface waters have been reported worldwide. However, removal of GBCA-s by aquatic macrophytes has still hardly been investigated.Four aquatic plant species (Lemna gibba, Ceratophyllum demersum, Elodea nuttallii, E. canadensis) were investigated as potential biological filters for removal of commonly used but structurally different GBCA-s (Omniscan, Dotarem) from water. These plant species are known to accumulate heavy metals and are used for removing pollutants in constructed wetlands. The Gd uptake and release of the plants was examined under laboratory conditions. Concentration-dependent infiltration of Gd into the body of the macrophytes was measured, however significant bioaccumulation was not observed. The tissue concentration of Gd reached its maximum value between day one and four in L. gibba and C. demersum, respectively, and its volume was significantly higher in C. demersum than in L. gibba. In C. demersum, the open-chain ligand Omniscan causes two-times higher tissue Gd concentration than the macrocyclic ligand Dotarem. Gadolinium was released from Gd-treated duckweeds into the water as they were grown further in Gd-free nutrient solution. Tissue Gd concentration dropped by 50% in duckweed treated by Omniscan and by Dotarem within 1.9 and 2.9 days respectively. None of the macrophytes had a significant impact on the Gd concentration of water in low and medium concentration levels (1–256 μg L−1). Biofiltration of GBCA-s by common macrophytes could not be detected in our experiments. Therefore it seems that in constructed wetlands, aquatic plants are not able to reduce the concentration of GBCA-s in the water. Furthermore there is a low risk that these plants cause the accumulation of anthropogenic Gd in the food chain.
Water Research – Elsevier
Published: May 15, 2018
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