Method development and application to determine potential plant uptake of antibiotics and other drugs in irrigated crop production systems

Tammy L. Jones-Lepp, Charles A. Sanchez, Thomas Moy, Reza Kazemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations


Studies have shown the detection of emerging contaminants (ECs), of which pharmaceuticals are a subset, in surface waters across the United States. The objective of this study was to develop methods, and apply them, to evaluate the potential for food chain transfer when EC-containing waters are used for crop irrigation. Greenhouse experiments were performed in which select food crops were irrigated with water spiked with three antibiotics. Field experiments, at two different sites, were conducted. Select crops were irrigated with wastewater effluent known to contain ECs, EC-free well water, and Colorado River water containing trace-level ECs. The results of the greenhouse studies show the potential for uptake of one or more of the antibiotics evaluated, albeit at very low levels. In those food crops watered with wastewater effluent, only an industrial flavoring agent, N,N'-dimethylphenethylamine (DMPEA), was consistently found. None of the evaluated contaminants were found in crops irrigated with Colorado River water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11568-11573
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 24 2010



  • Emerging contaminants
  • LC-MS/MS
  • crop uptake
  • liquid chromatographyelectrospray ion trap-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry
  • pressurized liquid extraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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