Science Inventory



Petty, J. D., J. N. Huckins, D. A. Alvarez, W. C. Brumbaugh, W. L. Cranor, R. W. Gale, A. Rastall, T JonesLepp, T. J. Leiker, C. E. Rostad, AND E. T. Furlong. HOLISTIC APPROACH FOR ASSESSING THE PRESENCE AND POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF WATERBORNE ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS. CHEMOSPHERE 54(6):695-705, (2004).


The research focused on in the subtasks is the development and application of state-of the-art technologies to meet the needs of the public, Office of Water, and ORD in the area of Water Quality. Located In the subtasks are the various research projects being performed in support of this Task and more in-depth coverage of each project. Briefly, each project's objective is stated below.

Subtask 1: To integrate state-of-the-art technologies (polar organic chemical integrative samplers, advanced solid-phase extraction methodologies with liquid chromatography/electrospray/mass spectrometry) and apply them to studying the sources and fate of a select list of PPCPs. Application and improvement of analytical methodologies that can detect non-volatile, polar, water-soluble pharmaceuticals in source waters at levels that could be environmentally significant (at concentrations less than parts per billion, ppb). IAG with USGS ends in FY05. APM 20 due in FY05.

Subtask 2: Coordination of interagency research and public outreach activities for PPCPs. Participate on NSTC Health and Environment subcommittee working group on PPCPs. Web site maintenance and expansion, invited technical presentations, invited articles for peer-reviewed journals, interviews for media, responding to public inquiries.

Subtask 3: To apply state-of-the-art environmental forensic techniques to the recognition and characterization of emerging pollutants in the aquatic environment. There is a need for high sensitivity and for a powerful method of structural characterization, advanced mass spectrometric and chromatographic techniques to be employed to meet the challenge of emerging pollutants, including pharmaceuticals and personal care products, agents of sabotage, and explosives. Ongoing efforts continue to identify previously unrecognized pollutants from a range of problematic samples having importance to regional and state contacts.

Subtask 4: To provide the Agency with a set of practical analytical methods for the selective and sensitive determination of selenium species (organic, inorganic, volatile and non volatile forms) in multiple media to accurately assess and if necessary control the risk of selenium exposure to organisms. This includes development of optimal extraction, digestion, separation and detection approaches.

Subtask 5: To develop and apply an analytical method that can extract and detect synthetic musks. The extent of exposure may be determined by measuring levels of synthetic musks from their potential source (communal sewage effluent). This subtask ends in FY05 with the deliverable of APM 21. Future applications to biosolids will be covered in subtask 6.

Subtask 6: Application, and improvement, of previously in-house developed sensitive, robust, and green, methodologies regarding the use of urobilin and sterols as a possible markers of sewage contamination.

Subtask 7: Adaptation and improvement of previously developed in-house methods, for PPCPs (e.g., antibiotics and musks) to solid materials (e.g. biosolids, sediments).

Subtask 8: Study of the presence of personal care products, incombustible organic compounds from the direct-piping of small engines exhaust in Lake Tahoe, and lake deposition of airborne pollutants from industrial activity


As an integral part of our continuing research in environmental quality assessment approaches, we have developed a variety of passive integrative sampling devices widely applicable for use in defining the presence and potential impacts of a broad array of contaminants. The semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) has gained widespread use for sampling hydrophobic chemicals from water and air, the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS) is applicable for sequestering waterborne hydrophilic organic chemicals, the stabilized liquid membrane device (SLMD) is used to integratively sample waterborne ionic metals, and the passive integrative mercury sampler (PIMS) is applicable for sampling vapor phase or dissolved neutral mercury species. This suite of integrative samplers forms the basis for a new passive sampling approach for assessing the presence and potential toxicological significance of a broad spectrum of environmental contaminants. In a proof-of-concept study, three of our four passive integrative samplers were used to assess the presence o,f a wide variety of contaminants in , the waters of a constructed wetland, and to determine the effectiveness of the constructed wetland in removing contaminants. The wetland is used for fmal polishing of secondary- treatment municipal wastewater and the effluent is used as a source of water for a state wildlife area. Numerous contaminants, including organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), organophosphate pesticides (OPs), and pharmaceutical chemicals (e.g., ibuprofen, oxindole, etc.) were detected in the wastewater. Herein we summarize the results of the analysis of the field-deployed samplers and demonstrate the utility of this holistic approach.

Record Details:

Product Published Date: 03/15/2004
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record ID: 80648