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Determination of selected pharmaceuticals in tap water and drinking water treatment plant by high-performance liquid chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometer in Beijing, China

Cai, Mei-Quan, Wang, Rong, Feng, Li, Zhang, Li-Qiu
Environmental science and pollution research international 2015 v.22 no.3 pp. 1854-1867
antipyrine, detection limit, ibuprofen, liquid chromatography, solid phase extraction, tap water, water pollution, water quality, water treatment, China
A simultaneous determination method of 14 multi-class pharmaceuticals using solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometer (HPLC-MS/MS) was established to measure the occurrence and distribution of these pharmaceuticals in tap water and a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP) in Beijing, China. Target compounds included seven anti-inflammatory drugs, two antibacterial drugs, two lipid regulation drugs, one antiepileptic drug, and one hormone. Limits of detection (LODs) and limits of quantitation (LOQs) ranged from 0.01 to 1.80 ng/L and 0.05 to 3.00 ng/L, respectively. Intraday and inter-day precisions, recoveries of different matrices, and matrix effects were also investigated. Of the 14 pharmaceutical compounds selected, nine were identified in tap water of Beijing downtown with the concentration up to 38.24 ng/L (carbamazepine), and the concentration levels of detected pharmaceuticals in tap water (<5 ng/L for most pharmaceuticals) were lower than previous studies in other countries. In addition, ten and six pharmaceuticals were measured in raw water and finished water at the concentration ranged from 0.10 to 16.23 and 0.13 to 17.17 ng/L, respectively. Five compounds were detected most frequently in DWTP, namely antipyrine, carbamazepine, isopropylantipyrine, aminopyrine, and bezafibrate. Ibuprofen was found to be the highest concentration pharmaceutical during DWTP, up to 53.30 ng/L. DWTP shows a positive effect on the removal of most pharmaceuticals with 81.2–99.5 % removal efficiencies, followed by carbamazepine with 55.4 % removal efficiency, but it has no effect for removing ibuprofen and bezafibrate.