Non-target screening and identification of emerging pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in wastewaters

Abstract : Wastewaters represent a major pathway of introduction of EDCs into the aquatic environment. Considering the large diversity of compounds and their possible transformation products, many EDCs are currently unknown. Therefore, characterization of the presence and identification of EDCs in wastewater are major issues in order to assess their occurrence in natural waters and the associated risks for wildlife. To date, in vitro assays based on luciferase reporter gene expression, are available to assess the biological activities of samples in a quantitative, sensitive, specific and fast way. The comparison of concentrations derived from bioassays and from chemical analyzes allows assessing the contribution of micropollutants to the overall biological or toxic activity of a sample. In this study, a systematic approach combining effect-directed analysis (EDA) and high resolution spectrometry was applied to several urban WWTPs to establish an overall contamination diagnostic and to identify major contaminant that could be released in environment. For this purpose, crude extract from influent and effluent of an urban WWTP were analyzed by LC-QTOF and tested on estrogens, androgens and glucocorticoids receptors. The non-target screening allowed detecting more than 7000 and 4000 signals in influent and effluent extracts of WWTP, respectively. We observed that 70% of compounds detected in effluent were produced by the treatment process suggesting the formation of transformation products. Concerning the strategy implemented to identify compounds of interest, it was decided to use effect-directed analyses methodology to have a tool to target active compounds in relation with selected biological activity. To this end, the crude extracts were fractionated by HPLC and biologically active fractions were isolated for further chemical identification. Biological fractionation profile of samples indicated the presence of estrogenic and glucocorticoid activities at all studied sites with very similar fractionation patterns between sites, highlighting major and recurrent individual fractions. The identification of active compounds was performed using LC-QTOF and several drugs and their transformation products (e.g. O-desmethyl venlafaxine, O-desmethyl tramadol) were recurrent found. This approach combined to LC-QTOF has allowed establishing a list of systematic detected non-target compounds in several wastewaters.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 3, 2018 - 10:14:03 AM
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Caroline Gardia-Parege, Marie-Hélène Devier, Emmanuelle Maillot-Marechal, Emmanuel Geneste, Selim Ait-Aissa, et al.. Non-target screening and identification of emerging pharmaceuticals and their transformation products in wastewaters. 28. SETAC Europe annual meeting, May 2018, Rome, Italy. ⟨ineris-01853359⟩

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