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Pharmaceuticals and related compounds as emerging pollutants in water: analytical aspects

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Nikolaou A.
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Emerging pollutants are increasingly detected in aqueous environmental samples, with
pharmaceuticals and related compounds consisting a large category with many diverse groups,
including parent compounds and their metabolites/transformation products. Significant research is
performed on this subject worldwide, in order to obtain information regarding their occurrence, fate
and health effects. In this effort, development and optimization of highly sensitive and accurate
analytical methods for their determination in environmental samples is a necessity, but also a
challenge. Advanced analytical methods for emerging pollutants include liquid chromatography (LC)
or gas chromatography (GC) followed by tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) detection. These
methods, combined with a variety of sample preparation procedures, provide the ability to analyze
emerging pollutants in the environment in trace levels, and to identify and quantify their
oxidation/degradation products. However, there are still many analytical aspects that need
improvement and optimization for increasing the accuracy and sensitivity of the methods, in order to
be able to fill the gaps of knowledge on the studied compounds.

Emerging pollutants, environmental analysis, sample preparation, derivatization, GCMS, LC-MS/MS, transformation products