Inderscience Publishers

Screening of pharmaceuticals in surface water bodies of the Pampas region of Argentina

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Pharmaceuticals have been included among emerging pollutants due to their continuous input in aquatic environments by wastewater discharges. The aim of the present study was detecting and analysing concentration levels of five commonly used pharmaceuticals in surface water bodies of the Pampas region of Argentina. Analyses were done on the soluble fraction by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (HPLC–MS) after solid–phase extraction (SPE) extraction. Results show the presence of pharmaceuticals in 10 out of 11 sampling sites, detecting higher concentrations in sites closer to wastewater discharges. Compounds more commonly found and at higher concentrations were caffeine and ibuprofen, with maximum detected levels of 13.32 and 9.66 µg/L, respectively. Highest detected concentrations of carbamazepine and atenolol were 0.63 and 0.55 µg/L, respectively. The compound less frequently detected and at lower levels of concentration was diclofenac.

Keywords: pharmaceuticals, atenolol, carbamazepine, ibuprofen, caffeine, diclofenac, emerging pollutants, surface water, environmental health, water pollution, water quality, pharmaceutical screening, Pampas, Argentina, wastewater discharges

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