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.
- Emerging contaminants
- crop uptake
- liquid chromatographyelectrospray ion trap-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry
- pressurized liquid extraction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)