Comparison of LC–MS and GC–MS for the Analysis of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Surface Water and Treated Wastewaters
July 01, 2016
Water samples were obtained from the Tar River and a local water treatment plant in eastern North Carolina in spring 2013 and fall 2015 to monitor the presence of a panel of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs). Samples were extracted by solid phase extraction (SPE) or liquid-liquid extraction and analyzed for parent PPCPs and their metabolites by liquid chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-TOFMS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Both extraction and detection methods were compared by their recoveries and detection limits for each compound. Many parent PPCPs and their metabolites were detected including: carbamazepine, iminostillbene, oxcarbazepine, epiandrosterone, loratadine, β-estradiol, triclosan, and others. Liquid-liquid extraction was found to give overall superior recoveries. Furthermore, HPLC-TOFMS gave lower detection limits than GC-MS. Library searching of additional peaks identified further compounds with biological activity. Additionally, the effectiveness of the treatment plant on the removal of the compounds of interest is discussed.