The objective of this study was to investigate if coexisting compounds could affect the fate of pharmaceuticals in surface water under solar irradiation. The degradation of metronidazole (MET) in the presence of different coexisting pharmaceuticals was investigated in batch experiments with exposure to sunlight. Tinidazole, which has a similar structure to MET, was employed as an analogue. The results indicated that the presence of an analogue with a similar photosensitive group to MET could inhibit the photodegradation of MET. In addition, the effect of coexisting pharmaceuticals with different absorption spectra on the degradation of MET was investigated. The results showed that the effect depended on the degree of overlapping absorption spectra between MET and the coexisting pharmaceuticals. The relationship between the degree of the influence and the ultraviolet absorption spectra of coexisting pharmaceuticals found in this study could give guidance in assessing the fate of pharmaceuticals in environmental water.

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