Investigation of Pharmaceuticals in Missouri Natural and Drinking Water using High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry


A comprehensive method has been developed and validated in two different water matrices for the analysis of 16 pharmaceutical compounds using solid phase extraction (SPE) of water samples, followed by liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. These 16 compounds include antibiotics, hormones, analgesics, stimulants, antiepileptics, and X-ray contrast media. Method detection limits (MDLs) that were determined in both reagent water and municipal tap water ranged from 0.1 to 9.9 ng/L. Recoveries for most of the compounds were comparable to those obtained using U.S. EPA methods. Treated and untreated water samples were collected from 31 different water treatment facilities across Missouri, in both winter and summer seasons, and analyzed to assess the 16 pharmaceutical compounds. The results showed that the highest pharmaceutical concentrations in untreated water were caffeine, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen, at concentrations of 224, 77.2, and 70 ng/L, respectively. Concentrations of pharmaceuticals were generally higher during the winter months, as compared to those in the summer due, presumably, to smaller water quantities in the winter, even though pharmaceutical loadings into the receiving waters were similar for both seasons.



Second Department

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Alkaloid; Analgesic Agent; Antibiotic Agent; Antibiotics; Anticonvulsive Agent; Caffeine; Carbamazepine; Central Stimulant Agent; Chemical; Chromatography; Clofibric Acid; Codeine; Comprehensive Method; Concentration (Composition); Concentration (Parameters); Contrast Media; Contrast Medium; Controlled Study; Drinking Water; Drug; Drug Industry; EPA Method; Estradiol; Estriol; Estrone; Ethinylestradiol; Extraction; High Performance Liquid Chromatography; High Pressure Liquid; Hormone; Household Products; Ibuprofen; Iopromide; LC-MS/MS; Limit Of Detection; Lincomycin; Liquid Chromatography; Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry; Liquids; Mass Spectrometry; Method Detection Limits; Missouri; Municipal Tap Water; Natural And Drinking Water; Paracetamol; Performance Assessment; Pharmaceutical Compounds; Pharmaceutical Preparations; Pharmaceuticals; Potable Water; Priority Journal; Reagent; Reagent Water; Receiving Waters; Seasonal Variation; Seasons; Solid Phase Extraction; Sulfamethoxazole; Summer; Tandem Mass Spectrometry; Tap Water; Triclosan; Trimethoprim; Tylosin; United States; Waste Water Management; Water; Water Analysis; Water Contamination; Water Matrices; Water Pollutants; Water Purification; Water Quality; Water Quantities; Water Samples; Water Sampling; Water Supply; Water Treatment Facilities; Winter; X Ray Contrast Media; X-ray

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Article - Journal

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© 2011 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2011