The sustainable development of human activities is directly related to the protection of the environment by lowering the anthropogenic stress. Pharmaceuticals – due to their growing consumption (use in medicine, veterinary, animal production, cosmetics) and their incomplete removal in wastewater treatment plants – are classiﬁed as a group of new and rapidly emerging pollutants which have been proven to have a negative impact onto water organisms. In order to ensure the proper protection of human health and the environment there is an urgent necessity of determining pharmaceuticals in clinical, cosmetic, food and environmental samples. Gas (GC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are valuable techniques for such determination, especially when they are coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS; LC-MS) or tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS; LC-MS/MS). The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis of sustainability features of analytical techniques in the light of necessity to determine trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in the aforementioned different matrices. Using the Delphi method we performed an analysis of the key sources of the competitive advantages of the application of GC and GC-MS techniques for determining the pharmaceutical residue in clinical, cosmetic, food and environmental samples – compared to techniques based on HPLC or LC-MS. The analysis covered the following areas: (i) the features of the technique, (ii) the price, and (iii) the applicability in various sectors of economy.
The usefulness of untreated powdered eggshell as low-cost adsorbent for the removal of pentachlorophenol (PCP) from aqueous solutions was investigated. The most important parameters affecting the adsorption process, including the pH and ionic strength, were examined. The adsorption characteristics of PCP onto eggshell were evaluated in terms of kinetic and equilibrium parameters. The kinetic data were studied in terms of the pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order and intra-particle diffusion kinetic models. The equilibrium data were analyzed using the Langmuir, Freundlich, Sips and Redlich-Peterson isotherm models. The pseudo-second order model best described the adsorption kinetics. Using the Langmuir equation, the monolayer adsorption capacity of eggshell for PCP was found to be 0.127 mg/g. The results showed that PCP can be effectively removed from aqueous solution employing eggshell as a cheap adsorbent.
Steroidal saponins isolated from many plant species belonging to Monocotyledones display potent cytotoxic activity towards many human tumor cells. We examined the cytotoxic effects of crude Paris quadrifolia extract for the first time, testing isolated saponin-rich fractions against four different human cell lines using the [(3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Cytotoxic activity was tested against human promyelocytic leukemia (HL-60) cells, human cervical adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cells and human breast cancer (MDA-MB-468) cells. Human skin fibroblasts were used as non-neoplastic control cells. Our results show significant activity of the weakly water-soluble solid residue and butanolic fraction against HL-60 and HeLa cells. The solid residue exerted cytotoxicity against all tested cell lines.