Advances in the analysis of legal and illegal drugs in the aquatic environment

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  • Review

    Advances in the analysis of legal and illegal drugs in the aquatic environment

    Pablo Vazquez-Roig , Cristina Blasco, Yolanda Pic




    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67gh the process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71ds . . .. . . . . .. . . . . .reas of. . . . . .. . . . . .

    HRMS, High resolution mass spectrometry; IDA, Information dependent acquisition; LC-MS/MS, Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; LIDs, Legal and illegaldrugs; LLE, Liquid-liquid extraction; LOD, Limit of detection; LOQ, Limit of quantication; LSD, Lysergic acid diethylamide; LYSs, Lysergic acid derivatives; MAE, Microwave-assisted extraction; MAME, Microwave-assisted micellar extraction; MDA, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine; MDMA, 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine; MeOH,Methanol; MSPD, Matrix solid-phase dispersion; NI, Negative ionization; NSAID, Non-steroidal anti-inammatory drug; OPIs, Opiates; PI, Positive ionization; PLE, Pressurizedliquid extraction; QqLIT, Quadrupole linear ion-trap; QTOF, Quadrupole time of ight; RAM, Restricted access materials; SA, Sulfonamide; SD, Sediment; SFE, Supercriticaluid extraction; Sl, Sludge; So, Soil; SPE, Solid-phase extraction; SPME, Solid-phase microextraction; SRM, Selected reaction monitoring; SW, Surface water; TBA,Tetrabutylammonium; TC, Tetracycline; TFC, Turbo-ow chromatography; THC, K9-tetrahydrocannabinol; THC-COOH, 11-nor-carboxy-K9-tetrahydrocannabinol; TMCS,Trimethylchlorosilane; TP, Transformation product; UHPLC-MS/MS, Ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry; US, Ultrasonic extraction;WW, Waste water; WWTP, Wastewater-treatment plant. Corresponding author. Tel.: +34 963 543 092; Fax: +34 963 544 954.

    Trends in Analytical chemistry 50 (2013) 6577

    Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

    Trends in Analytical chemistry

    journal homepage: www.elsevier .com/locate / t racE-mail address: (P. Vazquez-Roig).References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

    Abbreviations: ACN, Acetonitrile; AMPs, Amphetaminics; APCI, Atmospheric-pressure chemical ionization; APPI, Atmospheric pressure photoionization; ASE, Acceleratedsolvent extraction; CANNAs, Cannabinoids; COCs, Cocainics; DAD, Diode-array detector; DI, Direct injection; DW, Drinking water; EDTA, Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid; EPI,Enhanced product ion; ESI, Electrospray ionization; ETM, Erythromycin; EU, European Union; EW, Seawater; FD, Fluorescence detection; FQ, Fluoroquinolone; GC-MS, Gaschromatography with mass spectrometry; GW, Ground water; HILIC-MS, Hydrophilic interaction chromatography mass spectrometry; HLB, Hydrophilic-lipophilic-balanced;1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2. Analytical protocols . . . . . . . . . . .

    2.1. Analyte preservation throu2.2. Extraction of water sample

    2.2.1. Off-line SPE . . . . .2.2.2. On-line SPE . . . . .2.2.3. Solvent-less metho

    2.3. Extraction of solid samples2.4. Determination . . . . . . . . . .

    3. Occurrence of LIDs in protected a4. Conclusions and future trends. . .

    Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . .0165-9936/$ - see front matter 2013 Elsevier Ltd. A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73the environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76ContentsilaterceuticalspreparationntLiquid chromatography-mass spectrometryLC-MS/MSMetabolitePharma

    2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.emment

    with emphasis on new strategies for sample preparation and recent technical developments. Finally, wepresent the applicability of these methods to the analysis of LIDs in protected environmental areas.r t i c l e i n f o

    eywords:rugs of abusecosyst

    a b s t r a c t

    We review the current methods developed for the analysis of legal and illegal drugs (LIDs) and theirmetabolites in environmental samples. We discuss the advantages and the pitfalls of multi-class methodsLaboratory of Nutrition and Bromatology, Faculty of Farmacy, University of Valencia, Av. Vicent Andrs s/n, 46100 Burjassot, Valencia, Spainll rights reserved.

  • 1. Introduction

    Contaminants of emerging concern, mainly human and veterinarypharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse, are considered pseudo-persistentas consequence of their continuous entry into the environment,mainly through human excretion. It has been reported that the elimi-nation of some pharmaceutical compounds in the waste water treat-ments plants (WWTPs) is rather low and, as a result, they are foundin surface waters, drinking water and groundwater [1,2]. Othercompounds have long half-lives (e.g., erythromycin, naproxen, andclobric acid) and will remain unchanged several years after theirdischarge. More hydrophobic pharmaceuticals tend to accumulate inriver and sea sediments. The persistence of someof themhas also beenconrmed in soils fertilized with contaminated sewage sludge [3].

    In 2010, the world pharmaceutical market was valued atUS$875bn [4]. Due to the peculiar system suggested by the WorldHealth Organization to register the consumption of pharmaceuti-cals (Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical Classication/Dened DailyDose system), it is not possible to know exactly the tons consumedworldwide. However, in the EU alone, about 4000 pharmaceuticalsare currently in use [5]. Their registration and marketing are ex-empt from the REACH Regulation and, currently, a procedure toestablish their possible environmental impact is not required.

    Several toxicity studies have been carried out to assess thepotential risk of pharmaceuticals to the aquatic environment[6]. For human health, the appearance of resistance in bacteriadue to the continuous presence of antimicrobials in the aquaticecosystem is a clear threat. Also we are still far from knowing

    Analgesics and anti-inflammatories

    SulfonamidesLipid regulators and Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs


    Psychiatric drugsHistamine H1 and H2 receptor antagonists





    d refla

    Cocaine groupAmphetamines



    AmphetaminesCocaine group

    Hallucinogens CannabinoidsOpiates



    66 P. Vazquez-Roig et al. / Trends in Analytical chemistry 50 (2013) 6577Tetracyclines



    Histamine H1 and H2 receptor an

    Sulfonamides LipiAnalgesics and anti-inFig. 1. Properties of the families of compounds studied in this review: (A)Ionophores

    onistschiatric drugs

    Antihypertensives gulators and Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs mmatoriespka and (B) octanol/water partition coefcient (expressed as Log P).

  • ruled out, but their effects on the aquatic environment are com-

    ods are appearing in the literature, increasing the sample through-

    nalyput, diminishing costs and improving the productivity of personneland instruments.

    In Fig. 1, the pka and octanol/water partition coefcient (ex-pressed as LogP) of LIDs usually studied in the literature are repre-sented by horizontal bars. Each family of compounds includesdiverse chemical groups that, except in a few cases, differ consid-erably in their polarities and acid-base properties. This leads tothe need to apply a great amount of solvents and SPE cartridgesfor comprehensive sample extraction.

    In contrast to wastewaters, environmental samples have ana-lytes at very low concentrations (typically low ng/L in waters orng/g in soils and sediment), so analytical methods have to provideenough low limits of detection (LODs).

    Different reviews have already focused their attention in gen-eral [9] and specic aspects of sample preparation [10], or naldetermination [11]. Other recent reviews dealing with both aspectsof the analytical methodology are too general due to the widerange of classes of contaminants studied [12]. There is no recent re-view dealing with the complete analysis of LIDs in environmentalmatrices.

    Consequently, the objectives of this critical review are to givethe state of the art of the most novel, advantageous techniquesfor the analysis of LIDs in solid and liquid matrices, discussingthe factors that must be considered when creating and optimizingthese methods. We provide examples of applications, proposingwhen possible, future directions that have not already been fullyexplored.

    2. Analytical protocols

    Relevant methods applied to the analysis of LIDs in surfacewaters together with their analytical performance are outlined inTables 1 and 2 for off-line and on-line solid-phase extraction,respectively. Table 3 listed selected methods applied to sedimentsand soils.

    2.1. Analyte preservation through the process

    In general, LIDs have a polar character and most of them arepresent in the environment in ionized form. Consequently,samples must preferably be placed in plastic containers rather thanglass, to minimize analyte losses by adsorption to glass walls {e.g.,tetracyclines [38]}. If not, sylanization of the glass, or glasswaretreatment with a 10% nitric acid bath for 8 h has been reportedpletely unknown.A continuous survey of the levels of LIDs in the aquatic ecosys-

    tems is necessary to establish their sources, levels, fates, persis-tence and metabolites in the environment. This is a key step tomake a realistic risk assessment of these compounds to protectthe aquatic fauna and ora. For this purpose, it is necessary touse multi-residual methods covering a large variety of therapeuticcompounds in various matrices. Moreover, new automated meth-the toxic effect of the complex mixture of pharmaceuticals andtheir metabolites.

    Illegal drugs are widely consumed despite their prohibition.About 230 million people are estimated to have used an illicit drugat least once in 2010, and about 27 million are problem drug users[7]. Estimation of their use is traditionally obtained by means ofstatistics or, more recently, by wastewater analysis [8]. Because il-licit drugs are release in huge quantities, toxic effects cannot be

    P. Vazquez-Roig et al. / Trends in Aas an alternative [38].Some LIDs are rapidly degraded, so, once samples are taken

    from the environment, they are refrigerated in dark place to avoidanalyte decomposition during transport [13,21]. Once at thelaboratory, it is common practice to prevent analyte removal inwater samples as consequence of microbiological activity throughacidication (typically pH = 2) with hydrochloric acid [18,43,44].However, this entails a risk for compounds suffering acid-catalyzedhydrolysis (e.g., methotrexate), and also enhances the adsorptionof target compounds on natural organic matter. If the samplesare not acidied, sodium azide [21,37] and formaldehyde [45]could be effective preservatives.

    Water samples can be stored refrigerated without loss of anyanalytes for 12 days after collection. However, after 3 days ofstorage, losses of >40% of clobric acid and ibuprofen from sea-water were reported [13]. Erythromycin, mefenamic acid, diclofe-nac, propanolol, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole anddextropropoxyphene showed no degradation after 10 days of stor-age [13]. Only salicylic acid showed rapid degradation after only1 day.

    Some drugs (e.g., cocaine and 6-acetylmorphine) suffered rapiddegradation at environmental temperatures and pH, while no deg-radation was observed at pH = 2 [14,18]. Ecgonine methyl estershows a degradation rate similar to cocaine. By contrast, benzoy-lecgonine was stable at room temperature for a long time [44]. Intap-water samples, sodium thiosulfate was added in order to elim-inate residual chlorine, avoiding oxidation of analytes, such as opi-ates and amphetamines [22].

    To achieve higher recoveries, water is usually ltered throughglass-ber lters with pore sizes of 0.451.6 lm. However, ltra-tion also removes the fraction of target compounds sorbed to sus-pended solids. It was therefore recommended to wash the lterswith methanol after ltration [11]. Usually after ltration, surro-gate standards are added to the sample for accurate quantication.Freezing is always recommended for sample storage. In nal meth-anolic vials, no degradation has been reported after 8 days at20C [20]. If sample processing had to be interrupted prior to elu-tion extraction, dried cartridge can be stored for at least 3 monthsat 20C without signicant degradation or interconversion reac-tions of illicit drugs [21].

    There are few studies dealing with the stability of pharmaceu-ticals in solid samples under storage conditions. Antimicrobialspresent in the samples (common situation in real samples) dimin-ish the degradation of other compounds [46]. Although some anti-biotics are susceptible to photodegradation {e.g., uoroquinolones(FQs) and tetracyclines (TCs) [37]} or biodegradation {e.g., macro-lides and penicillins [47]}, it has no signicant effect on their con-centration in soils, since xation and penetration into soil protectthem. To avoid microbial degradation and other decompositionprocess (e.g., hydrolysis), drying the sample is recommended forsolid samples. It could be done at room temperature with air, toavoid decomposition of analytes (e.g., macrolides), or freeze-drying, which is becoming popular for its effectiveness andperformance.

    The next step is to powder the dried sample in a mortar, or tosieve and to homogenize it directly in order to decrease the particlesize and facilitate the extraction process.

    2.2. Extraction of water samples

    LIDs are frequently detected in concentrations slightly abovetheir method LODs, so pre-concentration is mainly aimed atachieving these low LODs. Additional clean-up could be necessaryto diminish matrix effects in MS, especially when an ESI source isutilized.

    SPE has been established as the default technique to analyze

    tical chemistry 50 (2013) 6577 67LIDs in water samples. In FQs and TCs, a chelating agent (citric acidor Na2EDTA) is added to the sample after ltration to improve theextraction recovery of these antibiotics [32,33,48]. However, it

  • Table 1Overview of off-line SPE methods applied to LIDs in waters.

    Compounds Matrix Pre-treatment Samplevol. (mL)

    SPE cartridge Solvent Recovery(%)


    Detection Ref.

    12 (analgesics, antibiotics, lipid regulators, anti-hypertensive, anti-cancer,anti-depressant, anti-inammatories)

    DW,SW,EW,WW pH 6, lter 0.7 lm (lter wasanalyzed too)

    1000 Strata X(200 mg)

    MeOH 5114b 0.030.96

    LCMS/MS [13]

    6 (clobric acid, ibuprofen, carbamazepine, naproxen, ketoprofen anddiclofenac)

    GW, WW, DW,SW

    pH 23 500 Oasis HLB(60 mg)

    MeOH 7792c 18a GC-MS [14]

    81(7 metabolites) WW, EW, GW,SW, DW

    lter 1 + 0.45 lm, 0.1% EDTA 100b Oasis HLB(60 mg)

    MeOH 30158b 0.0315.2b

    UPLC-QqLIT [15]

    70 (based on US EPA Method 1694) WW, SW, DW 200 Oasis HLB(500 mg)

    MeOH 10123 b 2020,000

    LC-MS/MS [16]

    47 (2 metabolites) WW, SW 100 Oasis HLB(60 mg)

    MeOH 52135b 0.576a



    2 COCs, 5 OPIs and THC-COOH WW,SW Centrifuged, lter 0.45 lm,pH 3

    500 Oasis MCX(200 mg)

    MeOH (5%NH4OH)

    3877 0.51 LC-MS/MS(fused core)


    4 AMPs, 3 COCs, 5 OPIs and 2 CANNAs SW lter 1.6 lm 250 Oasis HLB(200 mg)

    MeOH 57120 0.011.5

    LC-MS/MS [19]

    5 AMPs, 2 COCs, LSD, phencyclidine, fentanyl and ketamine WW,SW lter 1.6 lm 100 Oasis HLB(200 mg)

    MeOH 7599 b 0.13.1b

    UPLC-MS/MS [20]

    5 AMPs, 3 COCs, 4 OPIs and 2 CANNAs WW,SW lter 0.45 lm, pH 8.5 500b Oasis HLB(200 mg)

    ethyl acetate,acetone

    74125b 0.813b

    GC-MS/MS [21]

    27 illicit drugs DW Na2S2O3 200 Oasis HLB(200 mg)

    MeOH 65103 0.150a

    UPLC-MS/MS [22]

    5 AMPs, 5 COCs and THC-COOH WW,SW centrifuged, pH 2 50 Oasis MCX(150 mg)

    MeOH (2%NH4OH)

    73106 b 0.0530

    UPLC-MS/MS [23]

    MeOH, methanol; SW, surface water; WW, wastewater; DW, drinking water; GW, groundwater; EW, sea water; US EPA, United States Environmental Protection Agency.a Limit of quantication.b In surface water.c In deionized water.








  • Table2





























































































































































































































    P. Vazquez-Roig et al. / Trends in Analytiseems that an excess of EDTA chelates not only metals but alsoTCs and ionophore polyethers, resulting in lower extraction ef-ciencies [48].

    Depending on the target analytes, pH adjustment could benecessary to enhance extraction retention. However, it is neces-sary take into account that the use of polar solvents and acidicconditions also helps to extract the humic substances, leadingto an increase in the matrix effects [38].

    2.2.1. Off-line SPEIn off-line SPE, Oasis HLB (polymeric sorbent) is the cartridge

    most frequently utilized in LID analysis (see Table 1). Elution fromthese cartridges is usually performed with polar solvents (e.g.,methanol). This cartridge has a high versatility working at differ-ent pHs and with analytes of different polarities and acid-baseproperties. The number of compounds simultaneously extractedis rising constantly.

    Using this cartridge, Gracia-Lor et al. extracted 47 multi-classpharmaceuticals (including 26 antibiotics) from 100 mL of envi-ronmental and wastewater samples, obtaining satisfactory recov-eries (P70%) for 43 of the compounds studied [17]. Onlysulfadiazine, saraoxacin, tylosin and erythromycin were not sat-isfactorily recovered. The selected analytes were almost totallyrestricted to parent pharmaceuticals; the exceptions were sali-cylic acid (metabolite of acetylsalicylic acid), which is frequentlyfound in surface waters [15], and 4-aminoantipyrine (metaboliteof dipyrone). In particular, dipyrone (metamizole) is rarely de-tected in WWTPs, while metabolites 4-aminoantipyrine, 4-ace-tylaminoantipyrine and 4-formyl-aminoantipyrine have beendetected in WWTP efuents and surface waters [49].

    Gros et al. [15] increased the number of compounds simulta-neously detected to 81 (including metabolites 2-hydroxycarb-amazepine, 10,11-epoxycarbamazpine, acridone, noruoxetine,desloratadine, azaperol, hydroxy-metronidazole and norverapa-mil) in both environmental waters (drinking, ground, sea and sur-face) and wastewaters. Most of the compounds (70%) yieldedrelative recoveries higher than 70% in surface waters. Some sub-stances (e.g., hydrochlorothiazide, salbutamol, losartan, thiaben-dazole, metronidazole and hydroxy-metronidazole) werepractically not recovered. This highlights the difculty of obtain-ing good extraction efciencies for all compounds when there isgreat chemical variability among them. Carbamazepine metabo-lites were detected at higher concentrations than the parent com-pound in surface waters, seawater and wastewaters. Metabolitesnoruoxetine, desloratadine, azaperol, hydroxy-metronidazoleand norverapamil were not detected in any type of sample.

    Of a total of 90 pharmaceuticals, 52 not previously determinedin water samples were included in an analytical protocol devel-oped by Grabic et al. [50]. Pharmaceuticals were chosen basedon their potency (effect/concentration ratio) and potential to bio-accumulate in sh. The recoveries of the method for real matriceswere in the range 40130% for surface waters (except for glib-enclamid, glimepirid and meclozine).

    In a study by De Jongh et al. [49], 17 common pharmaceuticalsand nine TPs were determined in surface and drinking waters(from treated surface or ground waters). All the TPs (two deriva-tives from metamizole and one from phenazone, O-desmethyl-tramadol, Carbamazepine-10,11-epoxide, O-desmethylvenlafaxine) were found in surface waters. In drinkingwater (aerated, ltrated over active carbon and disinfected withUV light in the laboratory), no pharmaceuticals could bequantied.

    A method developed for the analysis of 15 top prescribed

    cal chemistry 50 (2013) 6577 69pharmaceuticals in Belgium and four of their metabolites in inu-ent wastewater [51] reported, for the rst time, the presence oftelmisartan, enalaprilat and perindoprilate (metabolites of enala-

  • Table 3Main methods utilized for the analysis of LIDs in solid samples.

    Compounds Matrices Pre-treatment Extraction Solvent Clean-up Recovery (%) LOD(ng/g)

    Detection Ref.

    43 pharmaceuticals Sd lyophilized PLE MeOH-water (1 + 2) SPE (HLB) 33206 0.013.2 LC-QqLIT-MS/MS


    32 pharmaceuticals Sd, So Air-dried (30C) PLE MeOH/water/NH4OH (pH = 9) SPE pH = 7(MAX-HLB)

    PLE: 60114SPE: 3387

    0.12.1 LC-MS/MS [32]

    17 pharmaceuticals Sd, So lyophilized PLE water SPE (HLB) 62119 0.16.8 LC-MS/MS [33]21 pharmaceuticals Sd, So, Sl lyophilized MAE MeOH/water (3 + 2) automated

    SPE(HLB)91101 0.0008

    0.0051GC-MS [34]

    12 pharmaceuticals Sd Air-dried MSPD(C18)

    Acetonitrile/5% oxalic acid (60:40) 47119 0.1500 LC-MS/MS [35]

    5 FQs Marine sediment,Sl

    Air-dried MAME Water 5% HTAB 7396a 0.150.55a

    LC-MS/MS [36]

    50 antibiotics (11 classes) Sd, manure, Sl,water

    Freeze-dried US ACN and citric buffer (pH 3) SPE (SAX + HLB) 20284a 0.191.75a

    LC-MS/MS [37]

    18 antibiotics (FQs, TCs,SAs)

    So US Potassium phosphate/ACN (50/50, pH 3.2) SPE (SAX + HLB) 5699 0.18.9 LC-MS/MS [3]

    9 sulfonamides, 7 TCs So, water PLE Water/MeOH/acetone (50/25/25) and 25 mMEDTA, NaCl and 2%NH4OH

    SPE pH4(HLB) 22115 0.011 LC-MS-MS [38]

    4 SAs So Air-dried DMAE ACN for DMAE and 0.3% acetic acid for SPEextraction

    Online SPE (neutralalumina)

    8394 1.44.8 LC-MS-MS [39]

    22 SAs (5 acetylatedmetabolites)

    So, Sl Freeze-dried PLE Sl: ACN-water (25:75) 50CSo: MeOH-water (90:10) 100C

    SPE (HLB) 60130 0.014.19b



    4 illegal drugs and 8pharmaceuticals

    Sd, Sl Freeze-dried PLE MeOH with 0.1% formic acid Centrifugation 56128a 150a UHPLC-MS-MS


    Amphetamine Sl Centrifugation US 50 mM formic acid/MeOH (80/20) SPE pH10 (HLB) LC-MS-MS [42]60 Pharmaceuticals and

    illicit drugsSo, WWparticulate matter

    Centrifugation, ltration anddried (40C)

    PLE MeOH/water (1/1) SPE (MCX) 13145b 0.011.3b LC-MS-MS [43]

    DMAE, Dynamic microwave-assisted extraction, Sd, sediment; Sl, sludge; So, soil.a Data in sediments.b Data in soils.








  • particles, only the small molecules of interest will bond to the car-tridge, while the rest of the small molecules will be ushed to

    nalypril and perindopril respectively), and the major carboxylic metab-olites of clopidogrel and losartan in water systems.

    Cation exchange (e.g., Oasis-MCX) and hydrophilic-lipophilicsorbents (e.g., Oasis HLB) have commonly been chosen for the anal-ysis of illegal drugs with similar results [18,19,23]. Pedrouzo et al.[18] tested four SPE adsorbents (Oasis HLB, Oasis MCX, Strata-X,Strata-XC, all with 200 mg) at two different sample pH (3 and 7)for the extraction of ve drugs of abuse and four metabolites from500 mLof surfacewaters. In Strata-XandOasisHLB, elutionwasper-formed with 10 mL of methanol, whereas, in Strata-XC and OasisMCX, it waswith 8 mLmethanol (5%NH4OH). The best performancewas obtained with Oasis MCX, without practically any inuence ofthe pH of the sample on the recoveries of compounds. Only 11-nor-carboxy-K9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH) was not satis-factorily recovered (38%). This low recovery was not observed byZuccato et al. [52], who, utilizing the same cartridge, obtained a69% extraction efciency for this compound. The reason for thelow recovery [18] could be thequantity of analyte in the spiked sam-ple (5000 ng against 25 ng), but also the amount of cartridge sorbent(200 mg against 60 mg). An excessive bed weight has already beenrelated to lower recoveries for benzoylecgonine [44].

    Other comparative studies of a broad range of solid sorbentscorroborated the previous results. Oasis HLB and Oasis MCX gavethe highest recoveries for the majority of compounds [19]. How-ever, MCX needs acidic pH for extraction (which promotes the stor-age stability of the studied compounds) and the possibility of usingorganic solvent acidied for washing step to remove acidic andneutral compounds (providing cleaner extracts than HLB) [53].The worst recoveries are always obtained for THC and THC-COOH.These compounds are non-polar, so the polar solvents usedcommonly as eluent do not provide good recoveries[19,20,30,52]. This problem has been settled by Gonzalez-Marioet al. [21] using ethyl acetate followed by acetone to extract 14compounds successfully (including the following metabolites:cocaethylene, THC-COOH and benzoylecgonine) from an OasisHLB, obtaining recoveries of 97% for THC and 93% for THC-COOH.

    Other preconcentration techniques (e.g., molecularly-imprintedpolymers) have shown high selectivity in retaining specic targetanalytes and their effectiveness in reducing co-extracted matrixcompounds, but they have not often been utilized because multi-residue analysis is not achievable using them.

    2.2.2. On-line SPEOn-line preconcentration of LIDs in an SPE column means min-

    imal sample handling in one of the most time-consuming tasks inwater analysis. Although its tune up is more laborious than in theoff-line approach, it allows a great saving of time if it is going to beused as a routine method. If the SPE column has a highly retentivesorbent, the mobile phase might not have enough strength to elutethe analytes trapped in the SPE, since reversed-phase usually startswith low levels of organic solvents. Another problem is the widen-ing of the peaks, which would lead to integration problems and in-crease the LOD of the analytes.

    Lpez-Serna et al. [25] developed a multi-residue method for 74pharmaceuticals, passing 2.5 mL of the water sample with 0.1%EDTA through a HySphere Resin GP cartridge (after comparingextraction efciency with PRLP-s and Oasis HLB). Absolute recover-ies achieved were in the range 50150% for the 61% of target com-pounds in surface water. For polar compounds (e.g., atenolol), lowabsolute SPE recoveries were obtained. However, the use of 51 sur-rogates signicantly increased the percentages of compounds withrelative SPE recoveries around 100%.

    Columns packed with restricted access material (RAM) remove

    P. Vazquez-Roig et al. / Trends in Amacromolecules by the size-exclusion mechanism. Only smallmolecules are able to penetrate into the pores of the RAM andinteract with a stationary phase bonded on the inner surface, whilewaste with the mobile phase. This system was applied for the rsttime to determine 58 pharmaceuticals and 19 metabolites and TPsin environmental aqueous samples [1]. Due to the large number ofanalytes determined in this method, three cartridges (with differ-ent chemical properties) were used. Relative recoveries in surfacewater were higher than 70% for 67 compounds.

    A variant of the typical on-line method involves doing samplepreconcentration and chromatographic separation in the samecolumn. This ingenious method was applied to the analysis offour ionophore antibiotics and two avermectin antiparasitics[28], all highly hydrophobic. Recoveries were 91120% with LODsof 17 ng/L. This method is limited to analytes of similar polarityto prevent premature elution of the most polar while part of thesample is still arriving to the column.

    For illicit drugs, Postigo et al. [30] developed an on-line methodfor wastewaters what was further extended to the analysis of non-wastewater samples with good results [54]. In this method, 5 mL ofthe water sample is passed through a PLRP-s cartridge for analytesmeasured in PI mode (all but cannabinoids) and through an OasisHLB cartridge for analytes measured in NI mode. Only THC was al-most unrecovered.

    To date, there is only other published on-line SPEmethod to ana-lyze drugs of abuse in surface waters [29]. In this method, on-lineSPE is coupled to hydrophilic interaction chromatography tandemMS (HILICMS/MS) to determine cocaine, morphine, codeine andmetabolites (benzoylecgonine, 6-acetylmorphine and dihydroco-deine) and two pharmaceuticals (trimethoprim and atenolol). TheHILIC technology is based on a hydrophilic column eluted with highpercentages of organic solvent. This resolved some of the drawbacksof on-line SPE, achieving low column back pressure and increasingionization efciency in the electrospray chamber and retention ofthe high polar analytes, thus providing narrower peaks. Themethodyields recoveries of 78102% in river waters.

    2.2.3. Solvent-less methodsThe consumption of solvents makes analysis more expensive.

    This is one of the reasons why liquid liquid extraction (LLE) wasfalling into disuse. LLE has been replaced by miniaturized liquid-extraction procedures. Using only 2 lL of organic solvent and1 lL of the derivatization reagent, Zhang et al. determined fouracidic compounds (ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen and clobricacid) in water samples using dynamic hollow-ber liquid-phasemicroextraction followed by GC injection-port derivatization andMS determination [55]. Relative recoveries were close to 100%,LODs were 1050 ng/L.

    In the same way, 4-isobutylacetophenone, a toxic metabolite ofibuprofen, was extracted and analyzed in river and sewage waterslarge molecules are discarded with the washing solvent. Using thison-line technology, an SPE-LC-MS/MS method was developed forthe determination of four macrolides (erythromycin, roxithromy-cin, tylosin and tilmicosin) [27]. Matrix effects were not observedup to 100 mg/L of humic acid. Recoveries were higher than 8798% and LODs of 26 ng/L.

    Turbulent ow chromatography (TFC) involves a new advanceusing RAM, combining size-exclusion and chemical-selectivitymechanisms. This new technology utilizes a column (TFC column)lled with big particles of 30 lm, which are supplied with differentchemical properties, depending on the type of column. Whensample arrives at this column, only small molecules will diffuseinto the pores. Choosing the appropriate chemistry of the cartridge

    tical chemistry 50 (2013) 6577 71using hollow-ber microporous membrane LLE and GC-MS. LODswere 7 ng/L and 14 ng/L, respectively, with high repeatability andreproducibility [56].

  • temperature and irradiation time is required to avoid degradation

    nalyof analytes. High microwave powers, in combination with longtimes, accelerate decomposition of pharmaceuticals, as also re-ported for clobric acid, metoprolol and propranolol [34].

    The main methods utilized for the analysis of LIDs in solid sam-ples and their performance are outlined in Table 3.

    Due to the novelty of the analysis of illicit drugs in the envi-ronment, there is only one method that analyzes these com-pounds in river sediments and sludge. Amphetamine,benzoylecgonine, cocaine, and methamphetamine were extractedfrom sediments using methanol with 0.1% formic acid using anaccelerated solvent extraction (ASE) system and subsequentcentrifugation [41]. Recoveries were in the range 85131%, withLODs of 25 ng/g. There are few optimized methods yet for theanalysis in soils, but analysts could pay attention to methodsalready published for:

    sewage sludge using sonication with formic acid and methanolTwo cannabinoids, THC and THC-COOH, were extracted fromsurface water and wastewater samples using SPME and deter-mined by GC-MS, after derivatization with N-methyl-N (trimethyl-silyl)triuoroacetamide (MSTFA) [57]. Satisfactory precision (RSD92%) wereobtained using microwave and continuous SPE clean-up with OasisHLB to extract 18 compounds (analgesics, antibacterials, anti-epi-leptics, b-blockers, lipid regulators and non-steroidal anti-inam-matories) from soils, sediments and sludge [34]. Elution forcartridges was automated using two valves with ethyl acetate.After silylated derivatives were added, extract was injected byGC-MS to obtain really good LODs (0.85.1 pg/g) with very lowRSDs.

    In a multiclass method, Jelic et al. extracted 43 pharmaceuticalsin sediments and sewage sludge, using PLE and methanol/water1:2 (v/v) as extraction solvent [31]. Clean-up was by SPE with OasisHLB (200 mg), and elution with methanol. Recoveries in sedimentswere 67206% for all compounds except acetaminophen, atorva-statin, sulfamethazine, metronidazole and butalbital. Due to thegreat complexity of the specic sediment-pharmaceutical interac-tions, it is difcult to explain the low recoveries obtained for thesecompounds. For example, despite the hydrophilic nature of sulfa-methazine (Log Kow = 0.27), the distribution ratio Kd at pH 5 wasup to 104 times greater than Koc reported in the literature [59],which shows sulfamethazine has a great tendency to remainbound to the sediment.

    PLE with methanol and aqueous ammonia solution (pH = 9) wasutilized by Perez-Carrera et al. to extract 32 pharmaceuticals fromagricultural soils and sediments [32]. Extracts obtained from PLEwere passed through two SPE cartridges (MAX-HLB) at pH = 7. Sub-sequently, the HLB and MAX cartridges were dis-assembled, air-dried and washed with heptane. Then, the MAX cartridge waseluted with ethyl acetate, methanol and methanol containing 2%acetic acid; the HLB cartridge was eluted with ethyl acetate andmethanol. Recoveries below 50% were obtained for citalopram,omeprazole, oxazepam and prednisolone. LODs were in the range0.12.1 ng/g.

    A green PLE method using EDTA-washed sand to disperse thesolid sample and water as extracting solvent was developed for17 pharmaceuticals in soils and sediments [33]. Two cartridges intandem (SAX and HLB) were used for clean-up. Recoveries werehigher than 70% except for those compounds with Log Kow higherthan 4.5 (fenobrate and diclofenac), which were not satisfactorilyextracted with this highly-polar solvent.

    MSPD was applied to the extraction of 12 pharmaceuticals fromsediments [35]. Samples were blended with C18, packed andeluted with acetonitrile acidied with oxalic acid. Recoveries wereover 80% with the exception of roxithromycin (47%). This methodis a good choice to analyze pharmaceuticals because of its simpleusage, low cost per sample and good recoveries.

    Several methods dealing with the analysis of antibiotics havebeen developed due to their wide use in farm and human medi-cine. An on-line method coupling dynamic microwave-assistedextraction to an SPE column packed with neutral alumina for thedetermination of four SAs in soil was successfully developed [39].The extraction and clean-up carried out simultaneously improvedprecision and accuracy. The recoveries of SAs were 82.693.7%.The disadvantage of this method was that it can be prepared onlyone sample each time.

    Recently, a comprehensive method to determine 50 target anti-biotics (belonging to 11 different classes) in sediment, manure andsludge was developed by Zhou et al [37]. Extraction of solidsamples was carried out by a combination of ultrasonic and vortex

    tical chemistry 50 (2013) 6577mixing using a mixture of acetonitrile and citric buffer at pH 3,then cleaned by tandem SPE (SAX + HLB). The anionic cartridge(SAX) removed negatively-charged fulvic and humic materials,

  • including parents and metabolites, as revealed for antibiotics [61],and illicit drugs [62]. Due to its superior resolving power, LC-QTOF-

    nalyavoiding saturation of the polymeric cartridge with organic matter,so that it was more available to retain analytes of interest. Aftersample loading, the anionic cartridge was removed, and analyteseluted from the polymeric cartridge with methanol. Recoverieshigher than 50% were obtained for 38 compounds and methodLOQs for the target compounds were in the range 0.66.7 ng/g.

    Garca-Galn et al. detected ve acetylated metabolites of sul-fonamides for the rst time in sludge with a PLE method developedfor 22 sulfonamides in sewage sludge and soil samples [40]. Puri-cation was carried out by an Oasis HLB cartridge. The recoveryefciencies in soils were found to be over 62% for the majority ofthe sulfonamides (except sulfacetamide, sulfamethizole, sulfame-thoxypyridazine, sulfapyridine, sulfathiazole and sulsoxazole).The LOD achieved was in the range 0.014.19 ng/g for soil samples.

    2.4. Determination

    LIDs have a polar character, which makes them more suitablefor analysis by LC than GC, as they do not require a derivatizationstep prior to analysis. To achieve sensitivity required to detect lowconcentrations of these substances in the environment, LC is usu-ally coupled with tandem MS, although other detectors are stillin use {e.g., diode array (DAD) [60] and uorescence (FD) [5,24]}.

    A relatively new development of LC is the use of apparatus andanalytical columns that tolerate high pressures. This technique,known as UHPLC, uses columns with sub-2-lm-diameter particles,improving chromatographic performance [e.g., speed, sensitivityand resolution, reducing co-elution of interferences (and thereforediminishing matrix effects)] when compared to methods estab-lished with conventional HPLC. This technology has been appliedto the analysis of drugs of abuse, reducing the time for chromato-graphy to 68 min [23]. In pharmaceutical analysis, 81 compoundswere determined in two injections of 5 min (137 transitions ac-quired in PI mode) and 2 min (52 transitions in NI mode) [15]. Gra-cia-Lor et al. determined 47 compounds in a single injection of10 min [17]. These fast methods result in the capacity to processmore samples per day and to save solvent. Fig. 2 highlights thesuperiority of UHPLC against HPLC, achieving the same resolutionin a fth of the time. This results in higher throughput and greateravailability of the apparatus. New alternative to the use of sub-2 lm columns are fused-core-particle columns, which can be usedin conventional LC equipment. These columns are designed to pro-vide low back-pressures at high ow rates, which result in highefciencies and shorter analysis times. They have been successfullyapplied to the analysis of drugs of abuse [18,29].

    In MS/MS apparatus, two transitions are usually monitored foreach compound, except for ketoprofen, ibuprofen and salicylicacid, which only give one due to their poor fragmentation [17].To solve this conrmation problem, some authors proposed theuse of tandem quadrupole-linear ion trap (QqLIT) instruments, per-forming an information-dependent acquisition (IDA) experiment[15,31]. It involves monitoring one selected reaction monitoring(SRM) transition per compound as a survey scan in combinationwith an enhanced product-ion scan (EPI) as a dependent scan.Compound identication was carried out by mass spectral librarysearch, matching the EPI spectra against commercial or user-cre-ated libraries.

    Measuring erythromycin-H2O (ETM-H2O) (m/z 716) instead oferythromycin (m/z 734) is a common approach when macrolidesare extracted at low pH, as ETM-H2O is a degradation product inacidic conditions as well as existing in the aquatic environment[48].

    High-resolution MS (HRMS) is a powerful tool in pharmaceuti-

    P. Vazquez-Roig et al. / Trends in Acal analysis due to the possibility of executing full-scan analysisand accurate-mass measurements, allowing the identicationand the elucidation of unexpected compounds, metabolites andMS distinguishes isobaric co-eluting interferences from the signalsof interest in complex matrices, achieving a reliable identicationof the parent compounds. Furthermore, it allows retrospectiveanalysis to identify non-target compounds (not included in the rstscreening), without the need for additional injection of sampleextracts.

    Non-target analysis of pharmaceuticals by UHPLC-QTOF-MS de-tected, for the rst time in environment, 4-(3-methylphenyl) ami-no-3-pyridinesulfonamide (a key intermediate used in torsemidesynthesis) and desmethylazithromycin (a by-product in azithro-mycin production) [63]. Fig. 3 shows the product-ion spectrum ofdesmethylazithromycin, which coelutes with azithromycin. Bothcompounds only differ in one -CH2 group.

    Recently, the use of HRMS also helped to discover that othermetabolites of dypirone (4-formylaminoantipyrine and 4-acetylaminoantipyrine) produced 4-amino antipyrine via in-sourcefragmentation, and therefore shared the same transitions [64]. Theexamples shown illustrate the information attained using full-spectrum acquisition HRMS and that suitable chromatographicseparation to reduce the possibility of bi-isobaric co-elutinginterferences when investigating metabolites cannot beunderestimated.

    The quantitative capabilities of the Orbitrap mass analyzer wererecently utilized in the analysis of 24 drugs of abuse and relevantmetabolites with satisfactory results [65].

    Dealing with matrix effects is possibly the most difcult chal-lenge in the analytical determination of polar compounds by LC-MS/MS. Matrix effects are particularly marked when ESI sourcesare utilized, being less pronounced with other sources [e.g., atmo-spheric-pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and atmospheric pres-sure photoionization (APPI)]. However, these other ionizationsources are rarely utilized. Common strategies to remove matrixcomponents are extensive clean-up steps after extraction, or tocompensate for quantication errors using labeled surrogate stan-dards, preparation of a matrix-matched standard curve[26,33,35,50] or single-point standard addition [38].

    GC-MS analysis provides low LODs as good as LC-MS/MS, to-gether with a very good resolution for the analysis of LIDs.However, the drawback of requiring previous derivatization ofcompounds has not helped to extend its use. It has been success-fully utilized to determine drugs of abuse [21], multi-class pharma-ceuticals [34] and NSAIDs [14]. Commonly-used derivatizationreactions are silylation [21,34] and alkylation [14]. N,O-bis(tri-methylsilyl)triuoroacetamide (BSTFA) + 1% trimethylchlorosilane(TMCS) was utilized as derivatizing reagent to analyze 18 acidic,neutral and basic pharmaceuticals [34]. Gonzalez-Mario com-pared the performance of three derivatizing agents to analyzedrugs of abuse {i.e. N-Methyl-N-(trimethylsilyl) triuoroacetamide(MSTFA), BSTFA and N-Methyl-N-tert-butyldimethylsilyltriuoro-acetamide (MTBSTFA) [21]}. Among them, the last two reagentsfailed to derivatize some of the aliphatic hydroxyl and the aminegroups. Derivatization has also been carried out on-line in theinjection-port using a large-volume (10 lL) sample injection withtetrabutylammonium (TBA) salts, achieving very reproducible re-sults, with RSD in the range 110% [14].

    3. Occurrence of LIDs in protected areas of the environmentdegradation products. LC-quadrupole time-of-ight (QTOF)-MS isalso a powerful technique for large-scale screening of compounds,

    tical chemistry 50 (2013) 6577 73As result of the high quantity of drugs of LIDs consumed, andthe poor elimination of some of them in WWTPs, these substancesreach rivers, lagoons and even protected areas of the environment

  • (e.g., estuaries, natural wetlands, and deltas). They are of particularinterest due to their ecological and economic importance, as theysupport a great variety of endemic ora and fauna. In some wet-lands, for example, these protected areas assure directly the needsof millions of people through rice farming [2]. Table 4 shows the

    existing literature dealing with the presence of pharmaceuticalsin these protected areas. These studies are examples of the eldapplication of the methods reviewed above. Researchers have usu-ally analyzed illicit drugs in sewage-treatment plants to estimatethe consumption of these substances in the population [8,54].

    74 P. Vazquez-Roig et al. / Trends in Analytical chemistry 50 (2013) 6577Fig. 2. Chromatograms in positive ESI mode of a standard mixture of pharmaceuticals: (A(B) 146 transitions in 26 min with HPLC {[25], with permission}.) 137 transition analyzed in less than 5 min with UPLC {[15], with permission}; and,

  • nalyP. Vazquez-Roig et al. / Trends in AThe presence of these substance in protected areas is poorly re-ported [19,66], so they are not included in Table 4. These studiesrevealed that heroin, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA),methamphetamine and THC were not detected in these areas. Co-caine and its metabolite benzoylecgonine were frequently de-tected, together with methadone and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA). THC-COOH, the major metabolite ofTHC, was scarcely detected, as reported by other authors [52,54].THC-COOH usually has bad recoveries due to its high hydrophobic-ity, which could explain the small number of positive samples.

    Unlike illicit drugs, pharmaceuticals are widely studied in pro-tected areas. In order to compare their concentrations in differentareas studied, only compounds common to several studies areshown in Table 4. Carbamazepine, propranolol and ibuprofen were

    Fig. 3. Product-ion mass spectrum of desmethylazithromycin, reported fo

    Table 4Mean concentration (ng/L) of pharmaceuticals monitored in wetlands and other protected


    Pego-Olivawetland (Spain)

    LAlbuferawetland (Spain)

    Doana Parkwatershed (Spai

    Carbamazepine 6 10 260Clobric acid 0.5 9 N.D.Diazepam 2 2Diclofenac 1 39 90Fenobrate 4 N.D.FurosemideGembrozil 1490Ibuprofen 16 290 3540IndomethacineKetoprofen N.D.Naproxen 1290Propranolol 2 2 310Sulfamethoxazole 2 27 N.D.Trimethoprim 0.1 8 N.D.Reference [2] [67] [60]

    N.D., not detected.tical chemistry 50 (2013) 6577 75found in all sampling sites, ibuprofen having the highest concen-trations. Some studies showed elevated concentrations of pharma-ceuticals [e.g., Doana Park (Spain) and Yangtze Estuary (China)].In these areas, sample points are specially affected by variousWWTPs, which discharged water upstream from where thesamples were taken. At the same time, the effectiveness of aWWTP is greatly inuenced by the types of treatment, the temper-ature and the quantity of water (strongly dependent on the season)and the input load of contaminants. So the moment when the sam-pling campaign is done and the WWTP characteristics, the mannerwhich samples are taken (24-h composite or grab samples) and theanalytical characteristics of the method utilized have critical rolesin the results, so it is difcult to make comparisons among differ-ent studies.

    r the rst time in the environment, as reported by Terzic et al. [63].

    areas of the environment

    n)Douro Estuary(Portugal)

    Yangtze Estuary(China)

    Pearl River Delta(China)

    Ebro Estuary(Spain)

    178 27 0.10.3

    4 N.D.N.D. 9.4 17


    4.9 30226 0.21

    1060N.D. 29

    3 1353 17616 N.D.[68] [69] [70] [71]

  • not always possible to achieve high efciency in their extraction

    higher throughput. Moreover, new on-line methods have beendeveloped for water samples, saving the time of the analyst once

    nalythe method is ready for its application.Generally, analytical methods rarely included metabolites and

    TPs of pharmaceutical compounds, with clobric acid, salicylicacid, fenobric acid, oxazepam and noruoxetine being typicallyincluded in the methods [32,67]. A list of the degradation pathwaysof some drugs of abuse can be found in the review of Castiglioniet al. [72]. Usually ecgonine methyl ester and cocaethylene(metabolite of cocaine when is taken with alcohol) are not foundin any sample, while benzoylecgonine and THC-COOH gave higherconcentrations than their parent compounds.

    New TPs of pharmaceuticals have been detected for the rsttime in the environment thanks to the acquisition of non-targetmass spectrometers (QTOF and Orbitrap). For a better understand-ing of the fate and the effects of LIDs in nature, it is necessary toinclude metabolites and TPs in the typical target analysis, whichis still rare. The monitoring of the emerging compounds is extre-mely important to assure the quality of our drinking water.

    The partition of LIDs between water and sediment gives an ap-proach to the preferred routes that they take to their degradationin the environment and their bioaccumulation potential. However,there are intrinsic mechanisms in biota that could enhance theiraccumulation or promote their degradation. It is therefore neces-sary to develop analytical methods in biota from different trophicchain levels in order to obtain a more realistic risk assessment ofLIDs, these ubiquitous substances.


    This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economyand Competitiveness through the projects Consolider-Ingenio2010 CSD2009-00065 and CGL2011-29703-C02-02. Pablo Vaz-quez-Roig was holder of a FPI grant from the same Ministry.


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    Advances in the analysis of legal and illegal drugs in the aquatic environment1 Introduction2 Analytical protocols2.1 Analyte preservation through the process2.2 Extraction of water samples2.2.1 Off-line SPE2.2.2 On-line SPE2.2.3 Solvent-less methods

    2.3 Extraction of solid samples2.4 Determination

    3 Occurrence of LIDs in protected areas of the environment4 Conclusions and future trendsAcknowledgmentsReferences


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