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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Investigations - Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment

Current Analytical Capabilities to Measure Emerging Contaminants in Water

USGS scientist working in the lab USGS scientist operating a liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) instrument used to measure emerging contaminants in water

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A total of 158 emerging contaminants can currently be measured in aqueous samples using a variety of Gas Chromotography/Mass Spectrometry and Liquid Chromotography/Mass Spectrometry analytical techniques.

Table of Chemicals Currently Analyzed

Available Publications

Barber, L.B., Brown, G.K., and Zaugg, S.D., 2000, Potential endocrine disrupting organic chemicals in treated municipal wastewater and river water: Chapter 7 in Keith, L.H., Jones-Lepp, T.L., and Needham, L.L. eds., Analysis of Environmental Endocrine Disruptors, American Chemical Society Symposium Series 747, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, p. 97-123.

Brown, G. K., Zaugg, S. D., Barber, L. B., 1999, Wastewater analysis by gas chromatography / mass spectrometry, U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8-12, p. 431-435.

Cahill, J.D., Furlong, E.T., Burkhardt, M.R., Kolpin, D., and Anderson, L.G., 2004, Determination of pharmaceutical compounds in surface- and ground-water samples by solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography--electrospray ionization mass spectrometry: Journal of Chromatrography A, v. 1041, no. 1-2, p. 171-180.

Ferrer, I., Furlong, E.T., and Thurman, E.M., 2003, Identification of homoloogue unknowns in wastewater by ion trap MSn, in Ferrer, I., and Thurman, E.M., eds., Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry MS/MS and Time-of-Flight MS-- Analysis of Emerging Contaminants (ACS Symposium Series 850, Orlando meeting): American Chemical Society, p. 376-393.

Ferrer, I., and Thurman, E.M., 2003, Analysis of emerging contaminants, in Ferrer, I., and Thurman, E.M., eds., Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, MS/MS and Time of Flight MS--Analysis of Emerging Contaminants (ACS Symposium Series 850, Orlando meeting): American Chemical Society, p. 2-13.

Furlong, E.T., Ferrer, I., Gates, P.M., Cahill, J.D., and Thurman, E.M., 2003, Identification of labile polar organic contaminants by atmospheric-pressure ionization tandem mass spectrometry, in Ferrer, I., and Thurman, E.M., ed., Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry MS/MS and Time of Flight MS--Analysis of Emerging Contaminants (ACS Symposium Series 850, Orlando meeting): American Chemical Society, p. 175-187.

Leenheer, J.A., Furlong, E.T., Ferrer, I., and Rostad, C.E., 2003, Charge characteristics and fragmentation of polycarboxylic acids by electrospray ionization/multistate tandem mass spectrometry (ESI/MS/MS), in Ferrer, I., and Thurman, E.M., eds., Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, MS/MS and Time of Flight MS--Analysis of Emerging Contaminants (ACS Symposium Series 850, Orlando meeting): American Chemical Society, p. 312-324.

Lindsey, M.E., Meyer, M.T., and Thurman, E.M., 2001, Analysis of trace levels of sulfonamide and tetracycline antimicrobials in groundwater and surface water using solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry: Analytical Chemistry, v. 73, no. 19, p. 4640-4646.

Meyer, M.T., Bumgarner, J.E., Varns, J.L., Daughtridge, J.V., Thurman, E.M., and Hostetler, K.A., 2000, Use of radioimmunoassay as a screen for antibiotics in confined animal feeding operations and confirmation by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry: The Science of the Total Environment, v. 248, no. 2-3, p. 181-187.

Thurman, E.M., and Ferrer, I., 2003, Comparison of quadrupole-time-of-flight, triple quadrupole, and ion-trap mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry for the analysis of emerging contaminants, in Thurman, E.M., and Ferrer, I., eds., Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry/ MS/MS and Time of Flight MS--Analysis of Emerging Contaminants (ACS Symposium Series 850, Orlando, Fla. meeting): American Chemical Society, p. 14-31.

Thurman, E.M., Ferrer, I., and Furlong, E.T., 2003, Time-of-flight/mass spectrometry and quadrupole ion trap MS/MS for the discovery of herbicide degradates in groundwater, in Ferrer, I., and Thurman, E.M., eds., Liquid Chromatrography/Mass Spectrometry, MS/MS and Time of Flight MS--Analysis of Emerging Contaminants (ACS Symposium Series 850, Orlando meeting): American Chemical Society, p. 128-144.

Zimmerman, L.R., Strahan, A.P., and Thurman, E.M., 2001, Method of analysis and quality-assurance practices by the U.S. Geological Survey Organic Geochemistry Research Group--Determination of four selected mosquito insecticides and a synergist in water using liquid-liquid extraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-273, 11 p.

Zimmerman, L.R., Ziegler, A.C., and Thurman, E.M., 2002, Method of analysis and quality-assurance practices by U.S. Geological Survey Organic Geochemistry Research Group--Determination of geosmin and methylisoborneol in water using solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-337, 12 p.

More Information

  • Project contact: Ed Furlong

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