The documented presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in water sources has prompted a global interest in understanding their environmental fate. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) can potentially alter the fate of these contaminants in aqueous systems by forming contaminant-DOM complexes. In-situ measurements were made to assess the interactions between three common PPCP contaminants and two distinct DOM sources: a wastewater treatment plant (WWOM) and the Suwannee River, GA (SROM). Aqueous DOM solutions (8.0mgL-1 C, pH 7.4) were spiked with a range of concentrations of bisphenol-A, carbamazepine and ibuprofen to assess the DOM fluorophores quenched by PPCP interaction in excitation-emission matrices (EEM). Interaction effects on target analyte (PPCP) concentrations were also quantified using direct aqueous injection ultra high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). At low bisphenol-A concentration, WWOM fluorescence was quenched in an EEM region attributed to microbial byproduct-like and humic acid-like DOM components, whereas carbamazepine and ibuprofen quenched fulvic acid-like fluorophores. Fluorescence quenching of SROM by bisphenol-A and carbamazepine was centered on humic acid-like components, whereas ibuprofen quenched the fulvic acid-like fluorophores. Nearly complete LC-MS/MS recovery of all three contaminants was obtained, irrespective of analyte structure and DOM source, indicating relatively weak PPCP-DOM bonding interactions. The results suggest that presence of DOM at environmentally-relevant concentration can give rise to PPCP interactions that could potentially affect their environmental transport, but these DOM-contaminant interactions do not suppress the accurate assessment of target analyte concentrations by aqueous injection LC-MS/MSMS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecological Modeling
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal