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Monitoring of Waterways for Emerging Contaminants Using Integrative Sampling Coupled With Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray/Mass Spectrometry

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Abstract:Assessing the potential impact to the aquatic environment from emerging contaminants, entails monitoring a complex mixture (pharmaceuticals, polar pesticides, industrial by- products and degradation products) in natural waters. The presence of these chemicals, often at ultra-trace levels, may be responsible for development of sub-lethal toxic effects in aquatic organisms (i.e., reproductive dysfunction, immune dysfunction, neurological disorders). Conventional sampling techniques (i.e., grab sampling) often are insufficient for detecting these trace levels. An integrative sampler, the Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampler (POCIS), developed by the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center, provided a way to measure the time-weighted average concentrations of these complex mixtures of contaminants. When POCIS was combined with liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS), it proved to be a powerful tool in identification and quantification of polar anthropogenic contaminants. Data from a pilot study showed the antibiotic azithromycin, illicit drugs [methamphetamine and MDMA (Ecstasy)], polyfluorinated organic acids (PFOA and PFOS) (essential ingredients in the manufacture of fluoropolymers), and surfactants [i.e., diethanolamine polyethylene glycols (DAPGs), polyethylene glycols (PEGs), and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEOs)] were all present in the extracts from the effluents of three wastewater treatment plants and other bodies of natural waters. Although the impact of these chemicals may not yet be fully understood, their presence should be carefully considered with regards to wastewater re-use and groundwater re-charge.
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Citation:Joneslepp, T., D. A. Alvarez, C. R. Casey, and J. D. Petty. Monitoring of Waterways for Emerging Contaminants Using Integrative Sampling Coupled With Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray/Mass Spectrometry. Presented at 2004 National Monitoring Conference: "Building and Sustaining Successful Monitoring Programs", Chattanooga, TN, May 17-20, 2004.
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Environmental Chemistry Branch
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Product Type: Abstrct/Oral
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Presented: 05/17/2004
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Addressing Emerging Issues in Water Quality Through Environmental Chemistry
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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