Source contributions and mass loadings for chemicals of emerging concern: Chemometric application of pharmaco-signature in different aquatic systems

To characterise the source contributions of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) from different aquatic environments of Taiwan, the authors collected water samples from different aquatic systems, which were screened for 30 pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs. The total estimated mass loadings of CECs were 23.1 g/d in southern aquatic systems and 133 g/d in central aquatic systems. An analytical framework was developed combining pollutant fingerprinting, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA), and principal component analysis with multiple linear regression (PCA-MLR) to infer the pharmaco-signature and source contributions of CECs. Based on this approach, the authors estimate source contributions of 62.2% for domestic inputs, 16.9% for antibiotics application, and 20.9% for drug abuse/medication in southern aquatic system, compared with 47.3% domestic, 35.1% antibiotic, and 17.6% drug abuse/medication inputs to central aquatic systems. The proposed pharmaco-signature method provides initial insights into the profile and source apportionment of CECs in complex aquatic systems, which are of importance for environmental management.

Authors: Jiang JJ, Lee CL, Brimblecombe P, Vydrova L, Fang MD. ;Full Source: Environ Pollution. 2016 Jan;208(Pt A):79-86. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2015.06.039. Epub 2015 Jul 7. ;