You are here:
APPLICATION OF U.S. EPA METHODS TO THE ANALYSIS OF PHARMACEUTICALS AND PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT: DETERMINATION OF CLOFIBRIC ACID IN SEWAGE EFFLUENT BY GC-MS
Patterson, D B., W C. Brumley, V Kelliher, AND P. L. Ferguson. APPLICATION OF U.S. EPA METHODS TO THE ANALYSIS OF PHARMACEUTICALS AND PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT: DETERMINATION OF CLOFIBRIC ACID IN SEWAGE EFFLUENT BY GC-MS. AMERICAN LABORATORY 34(1-4):20-28, (2002).
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
An emerging area of research concerns pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the
environment and their possible impact on biota and ecosystems. The long term effects of
constant perfusion of PPCPs into the aquatic environment are presently unknown. Some
compounds are known to have physiological effects on nontarget biota at extremely low
concentrations (e.g., estrogens and estrogenic mimics and certain antidepressants) (1). Among the possible target analytes are several compounds possessing chemical structures that are resistant to microbial degradation and/or capable of being bioaccumulated. Acidic metabolites of pharmaceuticals present one type of analyte that appear in the effluent of many publically operated treatment facilities. The subject of the present study is to assess the potential exposure of biota and associated ecosystems to these compounds. This study is a first step in an overall strategy to understand the fate and transport of these compounds in the affected environment. Such studies are mission relevant and given high priority since the Environmental Chemistry Branch of the Environmental Sciences Division is charged with the assessment of emerging areas of risk under Strategic Plan 2000 for the Environmental Protection Agency Clofibric acid [2-(4-chlorophenoxy)-2-methylpropanoic] acid is the bioactive metabolite of various lipid regulating pro-drugs (1). Its structure is suggestive of chlorophenoxy acid herbicides (it is in fact an isomer of one such herbicide, mecoprop [2-(4-chloro-2- rnethylphenoxy) propionic acid]). However, clofibric acid appears to persist in the environment
much longer than do these herbicides (2). Thus, clofibric acid is a common contaminant of
sewage systems (3, 4, 5). It has also been detected in Swiss lakes and in the North Sea.