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Optimization of Analytical Methods for the Determination of Trace Concentrations of Toxic Pollutants in Drinking and Surface Waters

  • Authors (legacy)
    Lekkas T.D., Kostopoulou M., Kolokythas G., Thomaidis N., Golfinopoulos S., Kotrikla A., Pavlogeorgatos G., Stasinakis A., Nikolaou A., Gatidou G., Petsas A., Vagi M., Babos D., Lekkas D . and Makri C.A.

Pollutants posing health risks to human health and to the aquatic environment often occur in drinking
and surface waters, as a result of disinfection practices, agricultural and industrial activities, wastewater
discharges. Toxic pollutants belong to different chemical categories, including chlorination by-products,
volatile and semivolatile organic compounds, insecticides (organochlorine and organophosphorous), herbicides
(triazines and substituted ureas), metals and organotin compounds. Optimization of different analytical
methods needed for their laboratory determination is necessary, since most of these pollutants have
toxic effects when they are present even at trace concentrations in water. The investigation described here
includes optimization of analytical methods applied in the Water and Air Quality Laboratory of the
University of the Aegean for determination of 130 toxic pollutants in water, by means of gas chromatography
with ECD, NPD, FPD and MS detection, Purge and Trap concentration, high performance liquid
chromatography (HPLC) with Diode Array Detection (DAD) and atomic absorption spectrometry
(AAS). The methods described were selected for application to surface water and drinking water samples
from Greece, after experimental modifications which resulted in the best analytical performance achievable
with the particular instrumentation, expressed by the calculated recoveries and detection limits.

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