Thursday, October 11, 2012
2:00 PM EDT
Trace Analysis of Pharmaceutical Pollutants and their Transformation Products in Wastewater
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The occurrence of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals in the environment has been a subject of concern for the past two decades because many of these emerging contaminants have been shown to persist in soil and water. This concern has accelerated recently as improvements in analytical methods coupled with larger scale surveys revealed the broad range of apparently persistent pharmaceuticals that are cycling through our local wastewater-to-drinking water cycle. While recent studies indicate that pharmaceutical contaminants can pose long-term ecological risks, many of the investigations regarding risk assessment have only considered the ecotoxicity of the parent drug, with very little attention given to the potential contributions that metabolites and other transformation products may have. The scarcity of available environmental data on the transformation products of pharmaceuticals in the environment can be attributed to the difficulty in analyzing trace amounts of previously unknown compounds in complex sample matrices. However, with the advent of highly sensitive and powerful analytical instrumentation that has become available commercially, it is likely that an increased number of pharmaceutical transformation products will be identified and included in environmental risk assessment. This presentation will focus on the applications of liquid chromatographyâ€“mass spectrometry on the analysis of pharmaceutical contaminants in the influent and effluent of wastewater treatment systems. It is also intended to provide an overview on the advances in analytical instrumentation for improved detection of trace pharmaceuticals in wastewater, and specific strategies to facilitate identification of unknown contaminants in environmental samples in general.
Sponsored by: Agilent Technologies