A review on analytical methods for pharmaceutical and personal care products and their transformation products


Tingting Zhang , Yuan Meng , Weiyi Liu , Xiaohui Liu , Jinlan Zhang , Meng Peng

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2020.08.025

Received July 06, 2020,Revised , Accepted August 21, 2020, Available online September 04, 2020

Volume 101,2021,Pages 260-281

Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) and corresponding transformation products have caused widespread concern due to their persistent emissions and potential toxicity. They have wide octanol-water partition coefficients (Kow) and different ionization constants (pKa) resulting in a poor analysis accuracy and efficiency. A suitable analytical method is the first prerequisite for further research on their environmental behavior to prioritize the substances. This study reviewed a full-scale analytical protocol for environmental samples in the recent ten years: from sampling to instrumental methods. Passive sampling techniques were compared and recommended for long-term continuous and scientific observation. A quick and effective sample extraction and clean-up method are highly required. Chromatographic methods coupled to mass spectrometry for determining PPCPs with a wide range of logKow (−7.53 to 10.80) were summed up. High-resolution mass spectrometry was confirmed to be a promising strategy for screening unknown transformation products, which would provide a nanogram level of detection limits and more accurate mass resolution. Screening strategies and mass change principles were summarized in detail. The recovery rate was important in multiple contaminants analysis identification and factors affecting the recovery rate of PPCPs were also discussed in this review, including sample matrix, target compounds characteristics, extraction method and solid-phase adsorbent. This review provides useful information for the selection of appropriate analytical methods and future development directions.

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