The main points covered in the paper are (1) to clarify some important aspects of the analytical method with solid phase micro extraction (SPME) and (2) to demonstrate a way of studying persistent organic pollutants in aquatic environment. These points are particularly interesting because the development of environmental science largely depends on the development of suitable analytical methods followed by applications. In addition, scientists with an environmental science major can see an approach from other earth sciences to resolve environmental problems. In reviewing publications, it is evident that these are current research trends or will become the main trends in environmental science and water industry.
This paper starts with addressing possible problems that may affect the on-line extraction method using SPME to analyze for trace organic pollutants in the aquatic environment. Using polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as the target, the authors studied some essential but easy to be ignored factors in the analysis of organic pollutants in trace level and displayed how these factors could affect the accuracy of the analysis. With the method established, this paper explored a study on PAHs in typical urban waterways. In this study, the concentration range and occurrence of PAHs in these waterways were reported, along with the complexity in the relationship between PAHs and organic matter in urban waterways, the characterization of PAHs with spatial variations, and a statistic analysis of PAH concentration/profile variability, and finally, a horizontal comparison in a broad range was made. The research period started from 2010 by the listed authors, and more articles will be published.