Alternate Analytical Method Validation for the Determination of the Presence and Concentration of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in Wastewater Discharges and Sources of Drinking Water


In the last two decades, environmental professionals have become increasingly aware of the presenceof Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in our bodies of water.This is due to the indiscriminate use of these products by our modern societies, where personal wellness is focused on consumerism and increased economic growth.These pollutants, also known as “Emerging Contaminants, reach our waters in three main ways: direct discharge of untreated wastewater, Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) effluents, and by inadequate disposal of expired or unused products.The resulting impact on our ecosystemsis still uncertain, as thereis no conclusive data on the magnitudeand extent of this impact in the Americas.At present, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed an analytical method to determinethe presenceand concentration of these emerging contaminants, MethodEPA 1694. This method requiresexpensive and specialized instrumentation, as it uses the High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) technique, combined with two (2) Mass Spectrometry (MS) detectors,in tandem.There are only a few environmental laboratories equippedwith HPLC/MS/MS instrumentation.This paper will present the validation process of an alternate analytical method for the detection and quantification of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in aqueous samples, using Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) technique.