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Investigation of emerging contaminants in environmental waters
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 00:02 authored by Yvonne Y. Yin
Emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals, are a growing environmental concern. These contaminants have been detected in environmental waters (such as surface water, ground and wastewater flows) at concentrations ranging from μg L-1 to ng L-1 level. The majority are unregulated in the environment and as a result the risk assessment and ecotoxicological effect of the contaminants, their metabolites and/or transformation products are relatively unknown. To meet the prerequisite of proper monitoring and risk evaluation of emerging contaminants, the development of a sensitive multi-residue screening analytical method for emerging contaminants in complex environmental matrices was undertaken. The first part of the study involved developing a UHPLC-QTOF-MS method for the analysis of a mixture of pharmaceuticals in water. The method was then expanded to include an on-line SPE preconcentration step in the second part of the study. The method has successfully analysed standards in Type I water, and was carried over with relative success to wastewater flows. Applications of this method to further environmental water studies could yield qualitative and quantitative information of emerging contaminants, and their transformation products.