Assessment of the occurrence and potential effects of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in South Florida waters and sediments

Chengtao Wang, Florida International University


A LLE-GC-MS method was developed to detect PPCPs in surface water samples from Big Cypress National Park, Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park in South Florida. The most frequently found PPCPs were caffeine, DEET and triclosan with detected maximum concentration of 169 ng/L, 27.9 ng/L and 10.9 ng/L, respectively. The detection frequencies of hormones were less than PPCPs. Detected maximal concentrations of estrone, 17β-estradiol, coprostan-3-ol, coprostane and coprostan-3-one were 5.98 ng/L, 3.34 ng/L, 16.5 ng/L, 13.5 ng/L and 6.79 ng/L, respectively. An ASE-SPE-GC-MS method was developed and applied to the analysis of the sediment and soil area where reclaimed water was used for irrigation. Most analytes were below detection limits, even though some of analytes were detected in the reclaimed water at relatively high concentrations corroborating the fact that PPCPs do not significantly partition to mineral phases. An online SPE-HPLC-APPI-MS/MS method and an online SPE-HPLC-HESI-MS/MS method were developed to analyze reclaimed water and drinking water samples. In the reclaimed water study, reclaimed water samples were collected from the sprinkler for a year-long period at Florida International University Biscayne Bay Campus, where reclaimed water was reused for irrigation. Analysis results showed that several analytes were continuously detected in all reclaimed water samples. Coprostanol, bisphenol A and DEET's maximum concentration exceeded 10 μg/L (ppb). The four most frequently detected compounds were diphenhydramine (100%), DEET (98%), atenolol (98%) and carbamazepine (96%). In the study of drinking water, 54 tap water samples were collected from the Miami-Dade area. The maximum concentrations of salicylic acid, ibuprofen and DEET were 521 ng/L, 301 ng/L and 290 ng/L, respectively. The three most frequently detected compounds were DEET (93%), carbamazepine (43%) and salicylic acid (37%), respectively. Because the source of drinking water in Miami-Dade County is the relatively pristine Biscayne aquifer, these findings suggest the presence of wastewater intrusions into the delivery system or the onset of direct influence of surface waters into the shallow aquifer.

Subject Area

Water Resource Management|Geochemistry

Recommended Citation

Wang, Chengtao, "Assessment of the occurrence and potential effects of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in South Florida waters and sediments" (2012). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3541827.