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Analysis of Selected Pharmaceutical Compounds and Endocrine Disruptors in Municipal Wastewater Using Solid-Phase Microextraction and Gas Chromatography

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The aim of this work was to develop a simple analytical method to determine the presence of selected pharmaceutical compounds, personal care products, and endocrine disruptors in wastewater treatment plant effluents. In this study, solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography with mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) were used to identify triclosan; 2,4-dichloro phenol; 2,3,4-trichloro phenol; galaxolide; tonalide; estrone; 17-β-estradiol; 17-α-ethinyl estradiol; clofibric acid; and carbamazepine.

Extraction parameters such as types of SPME fiber, effect of ionic strength, magnetic stirring, pH, extraction temperature, extraction time, and desorption time were investigated to optimize the SPME-GC method. Also, analytical parameters such as repeatability, linearity, and detection limits were evaluated. The method developed in this study was fast (extraction procedure and GC-MS analysis was around 100 minutes), solvent-free, and low cost.

This method was used as a screening test to determine if pharmaceutical compounds, personal care products, and endocrine disruptors were present in wastewater treatment plant effluents samples from the Chania Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant in Crete, Greece.

Keywords: Endocrine disruptors; gas chromatography; pharmaceutical compounds; solid phase microextraction (SPME); wastewater

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2009

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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