The occurrence of eight pharmaceutical compounds (PhCs), two metabolites and caffeine was investigated in River Acheloos, located in Western Greece, during a twelve-month monitoring period (March 2007–February 2008). Solid-phase extraction (SPE) was used for the extraction and
pre-concentration of the target pollutants and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC–MS) for the detection and quantification. Recoveries were determined between 74.0–100.4% for distilled water and 72.6–95.1% for the river water, whereas the relative standard deviation
was less than 9.4% for distilled water and 8% for the river water, respectively. The limits of detection ranged between 1–40 ng L−1. Two pharmaceuticals (paracetamol and carbamazepine), caffeine and the metabolite (salicylic acid), have been detected in all
the analysed samples. Maximum concentration levels determined in river samples reached 305 ng L−1 recorded for paracetamol. The concentrations of target compounds were significantly higher in the samples collected at the sampling station situated after the wastewater
treatment plant (WWTP) of Agrinio City compared to the samples collected in upper and lower parts of the river. Seasonal variations were attributed mainly to river flow variations and removal percentages by WWTP. Risk quotient method for median environmental concentrations revealed minimal
to median risk with the exception of triclosan, ibuprofen and diclofenac, which presented high risk when maximum environmental concentrations were used.
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Affiliations:1: Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, University of Patras, Agrinio, 30100, Greece 2: Department of Business Administration of Food and Agricultural Enterprises, University of Patras, 30100, Agrinio, Greece