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Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampling and Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray/Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometry for Assessing Selected Prescription and Illicit Drugs in Treated Sewage Effluents

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Abstract:The purpose of the research presented in this paper is two-fold: (1) to demonstrate the 4 coupling of two state-of-the-art techniques: a time-weighted polar organic integrative sampler (POCIS) and micro-liquid chromatography-electrospray/ion trap mass spectrometry (u-LC-6 ES/ITMS); and (2) the assessment of these methodologies in a real-world environment -wastewater effluent - for detecting six drugs (four prescription and two illicit). In the effluent from three wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), azithromycin was detected at concentrations ranging from 15ng/L to 66ng/L, equivalent to the total annual release of 0.4 -4 kg into the receiving waters. Detected and confirmed in the effluent from two WWTPs were two illicit drugs methamphetamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), at 2ng/L and 0.5ng/L, respectively. While the ecotoxicological significance of drugs in environmental matrices, particularly water, has not been closely examined, it can only be surmised that these substances have the potential to adversely affect biota that are continuously exposed to them even at very low levels. The potential for chronic affects on human health is also unknown, but of increasing concern due to the multi use character of water, particularly in densely populated arid areas.
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Citation:Joneslepp, T., D. A. Alvarez, J. D. Petty, and J. N. Huckins. Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampling and Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray/Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometry for Assessing Selected Prescription and Illicit Drugs in Treated Sewage Effluents. ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION & TOXICOLOGY 47(4):427-439, (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: Journal
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Published: 11/01/2004
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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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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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