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Screening of pesticides and veterinary drugs in small streams in the European Union by liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry.

Authors
  • Casado, Jorge1
  • Brigden, Kevin2
  • Santillo, David2
  • Johnston, Paul2
  • 1 Greenpeace Research Laboratories, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Innovation Centre Phase 2, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom. Electronic address: [email protected] , (United Kingdom)
  • 2 Greenpeace Research Laboratories, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Innovation Centre Phase 2, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom. , (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Science of the total environment
Publication Date
Jun 20, 2019
Volume
670
Pages
1204–1225
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.03.207
PMID: 31018436
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Water samples from 29 small waterways located in 10 different countries in the European Union were screened for the presence of a large number of pesticides (275) and veterinary drugs (101). Solid phase extraction was combined with liquid chromatography coupled to Orbitrap high resolution tandem mass spectrometry to quantify the levels of pesticides in the samples and to detect the presence of veterinary drugs. All the sampled European rivers and canals included in this investigation were contaminated with mixtures of pesticides and, in most of the cases, with several veterinary drugs at the time of sampling, without a clear national or regional pattern. In total, 103 different pesticides, 24 of them banned in the EU, and 21 veterinary drugs were found in the analysed samples. Herbicides were the main contributor to the total amount of pesticides found in the samples, with terbuthylazine present in all the samples. The maximum individual concentration recorded was of dimethenamid at 59.85 μg L-1. The maximum combined pesticide concentration was found in a sample from the Wulfdambeek canal, Belgium, with 94.02 μg L-1 comprised of a mixture of 70 different pesticides. European regulatory standards defining acceptable concentration levels were exceeded for at least one pesticide in 13 of the 29 samples analysed, with the neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid and clothianidin most frequently present above such limits. The majority of the veterinary drugs detected were antimicrobials, most being antibiotics. The β-lactam antibiotic dicloxacillin was present in two thirds of the analysed samples. The application of this consistent research approach across Europe allowed the identification of a significant threat to the aquatic environment associated with pesticide contamination, and in some cases veterinary drugs, at the time of sampling in the water bodies tested. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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