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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Development of fast and robust multiresidual LC-MS/MS method for determination of pharmaceuticals in soils

Golovko, Oksana; Koba, Olga; Kodesova, Radka; Fedorova, Ganna; Kumar, Vimal; Grabic, Roman


The aim of this study was to develop a simple extraction procedure and a multiresidual liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for determination of a wide range of pharmaceuticals from various soil types. An extraction procedure for 91 pharmaceuticals from 13 soil types, followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis, was optimized. The extraction efficiencies of three solvent mixtures for ultrasonic extraction were evaluated for 91 pharmaceuticals. The best results were obtained using acetonitrile/water (1/1 v/v with 0.1 % formic acid) followed by acetonitrile/2-propanol/water (3/3/4 v/v/v with 0.1 % formic acid) for extracting 63 pharmaceuticals. The method was validated at three fortification levels (10, 100, and 1000 ng/g) in all types of representative soils; recovery of 44 pharmaceuticals ranged between 55 and 135 % across all tested soils. The method was applied to analyze actual environmental samples of sediments, soils, and sludge, and 24 pharmaceuticals were found above limit of quantification with concentrations ranging between 0.83 ng/g (fexofenadine) and 223 ng/g (citalopram).


Extraction efficiency; Extraction method; Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry; Matrix effects; Sediments; Sludge; Validation

Published in

Environmental Science and Pollution Research
2016, Volume: 23, number: 14, pages: 14068-14077

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences

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