Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:399 | Cite as

Wide-Scope Determination of Pharmaceuticals and Pesticides in Water Samples: Qualitative and Confirmatory Screening Method Using LC-qTOF-MS

  • Juliana Bazzan Arsand
  • Rodrigo Barcellos Hoff
  • Louíse Jank
  • Alexsandro Dallegrave
  • Carolina Galeazzi
  • Fabiano Barreto
  • Tânia Mara PizzolatoEmail author


Aquatic system contamination is a subject of concern due to the high number of contaminants with the potential to be hazardous for plant and animal species, including humans. A large number of analytical methods have been developed to evaluate the extension of water resource pollution, most of them focused on target residue analysis. Screening methods for potential target and non-target compounds are a potential alternative and could be used for a comprehensive evaluation of samples composition. Liquid chromatography coupled to time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-qTOF-MS/MS) was developed to provide full-spectrum data and high mass resolution with appropriate selectivity and sensitivity for monitoring of 300 pharmaceuticals and pesticides in environmental water samples. The validation was based on anti-doping analysis validation protocols, using three different concentration levels (0.01, 0.1, and 1.0 μg L−1). Confirmation analysis was achieved using two fragment ions monitoring for each analyte. Samples were extracted by solid-phase extraction and analyzed by LC-qTOF-MS/MS. The final method was able to detect 170 chemicals in wastewater treatment plant effluent and 198 chemicals in surface water. The advantage of using post-acquisition data processing provided by a qTOF-MS/MS system allowed for non-target analysis for an illicit drug metabolite determination. The method was successfully applied to real samples of wastewater and surface water.


Emerging contaminants Environmental analysis Surface water Non-target analysis Validation Solid-phase extraction 


Funding Information

This research was funded by CAPES and CNPq (PVE 163/2012). Juliana Bazzan Arsand acknowledges his doctoral scholarship from CAPES (Project PVE 163/2012).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11270_2018_4036_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (48 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 48 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliana Bazzan Arsand
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Barcellos Hoff
    • 2
  • Louíse Jank
    • 2
  • Alexsandro Dallegrave
    • 1
  • Carolina Galeazzi
    • 1
  • Fabiano Barreto
    • 2
  • Tânia Mara Pizzolato
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Instituto de QuímicaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul—UFRGSPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório Nacional Agropecuário—LANAGRO/RSMinistério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento do BrasilPorto AlegreBrazil

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