The occurrence of emerging contaminants in aquatic environments has been an increasing concern among researchers, policy makers and industry personnel in many European countries and the U.S. Emerging contaminants are a group of non-regulated contaminants that still require U.S. EPA evaluations. They include a variety of compounds such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), hormones and surfactants, etc. Among the variety of pharmaceuticals, antibiotics are receiving increasing attention due to their extensive use in treating diseases, protecting animals’ health and as husbandry promoters. In aquatic environments, they have the ability to alter microbial community structure and to promote the development of antibiotic-resistant human pathogens.
This final report has compiled the following specific information on PPCPs: (1) environmental occurrence, (2) toxicity/estrogenicity, (3) environmental risk assessment, (4) drug usage (including amount imported and used), (5) analytical method development grouping for coming projects. In addition, this report includes our analytical results on 4 selected β-blockers and 4 selected β-agonists, including LC and mass spec optimizing conditions and QA/QC (recovery test, matrix effect study, precision and accuracy, and method detection limit). The target compounds are propranolol, atenolol, metoprolol, acebutolol, tulobuterol, salbutamol, clenbuterol and ractopamine. For recovery, DI water and real water were used as blanks, the recoveries range from 83.2-107.2% and 84.0-107.3%, respectively, except that tulobuterol are 33.8% and 63.3% for. The method detection limits (MDL) all are 1.0 ng/L.
Three hospital effluents and four rivers were examined using the established analytical methods including this year and last year. Twenty-six antibiotics, 4 β-blockers and 4 β-agonists were detected in sample collected from three hospitals and four rivers.
Based on analyzed data, concentrations of pharmaceuticals found were comparable to those detected around the world and were range from ng/L - μg/L. Atenolol, lincomycin, sulfadiazine, sulfamethoxazole, sulfamethazine and sulfadimethoxine were detected most frequently in all taken samples (frequency of detection >71%).