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Publications (9)28.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The partitioning of alkylphenols in the dissolved and particulate matter of influents, effluents, accumulation onto sludge and the impact of sewage treatment plant upon receiving waters was studied along the Ter River basin (Catalonia, NE Spain). A solid-phase extraction or pressurized liquid extraction followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was developed and permitted to determine target compounds with high efficiency in waters, particulate material and sludge. Nonylphenol mono- and diethoxylate, nonylphenol and octylphenol partitioned preferably upon particulate matter and sludge, whereas long chain NPE(3-15)O prevailed in the dissolved phase and was released by effluents. Within the treatment process, a net accumulation of alkylphenols in sludge was found, producing up to 148g/t/month. The removal efficiency of alkylphenols was of 37-90% and depended on the treatment. Assessment on the fate of these contaminants within STPs is discussed in terms of flow rates, biological oxygen demand and tons of sludge produced.
    Environmental Pollution 06/2008; 153(2):384-92. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 4-Nonylphenol (NP) and octylphenol (OP) were measured by direct ELISA in both laboratory-fortified and surface water samples collected monthly from 10 rivers. In this procedure, samples were concentrated by solid phase extraction (SPE) using Lichrolut RP-18 sorbent with good recoveries obtained for both LC-MS and ELISA, giving a low level of detection (LOD) at the range of low mugL(-1) and good reproducibility. Analysis of 40 surface water samples demonstrated that the ELISA may be a useful screening tool for the determination of the alkylphenols in surface water matrices. The concentration of NP and OP in surface waters ranged from 0.11 to 6.58mugL(-1). A good correlation of results obtained by ELISA and LC-MS within the concentration range of 0.08-6.86mugL(-1) was found in the river samples [R(2)=0.924, n=39]. The influence of various factors on assay determination was also discussed.
    Talanta 12/2006; 70(4):745-51. · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study presents a quantitative estimation of the analysis and fate of several emerging pollutants, some of them endocrine-disrupting compounds, in surface water samples collected at several locations along the Ter River and two of its tributaries. Influent and effluent waters and particulate matter from five sewage treatment plants (STP) that discharge into these rivers were also studied. The target compounds analyzed were: nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEO), nonylphenol (NP), octylphenol (OP), bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, alcohol ethoxylates (AEO) and benzothiazoles. Chemical analysis by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry using an electrospray interface (LC-ESI-MS) revealed the presence of low amounts (between 0.06 and 17.5 microg L(-1)) of the target compounds NPE(1+2)O and NP, which were detected in 100% and 84% of the samples respectively. Maximum concentrations occurred in the STPs associated with the municipalities of Vic and Girona. From the fate and behavior data obtained for the various compounds analyzed in the STP influent and effluent, we can conclude that the STPs are effective at removing large amounts (more than 70%) of the compounds studied from the water.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 08/2006; 385(6):992-1000. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Llobregat basin is a Mediterranean fluvial system with major agricultural, urban and industrial impacts. We combined chemical quantification by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with electrospray interface (LC-ESI-MS) and the recombinant yeast assay (RYA) assays to estimate the loads of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) along the basin. Chemical analysis revealed maximum concentrations (at microg l(-1) level) of alkylphenols at the lower course of the Llobregat River, which correlated with high levels of estrogenic activity detected by RYA. Analysis by RYA and LC-ESI-MS of influent and effluent waters from four sewage treatment plants (STP) discharging into the basin showed the removal of 80-95% of EDCs by STP treatment. Chemical analysis data and RYA data showed a quasi-linear correlation, demonstrating the complementariness of both methods. Our data suggest that the concentrations of the analysed compounds were enough to explain the total estrogenicity of water and STP samples from the Llobregat basin.
    Chemosphere 01/2006; 61(11):1710-9. · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Water samples (n = 183) from Portuguese rivers were tested for the presence of endocrine disruptors using the recombinant yeast assay (RYA) combined with chemical identification of compounds having endocrine-disruption properties by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Ten selected locations were sampled monthly for a period of 20 months, from April 2001 to December 2002. More than 90% of samples showed either no detectable or low levels of estrogenicity (<0.1 ng/L of estradiol equivalents). The remaining samples (17 in total, 9.3%) showed estrogenicity values ranging from 0.1 to 1.7 ng/L of estradiol equivalents; only two samples showed values greater than 1 ng/L of estradiol equivalents. Most highly estrogenic samples (13 of 17 samples) originated in five sampling sites clustered in two zones near Porto and Lisbon. Chemical analysis detected alkylphenolic compounds (octyl- and nonylphenol plus nonylphenol ethoxylates) in all samples, albeit at concentrations less than 1 microg/L for each compound in 80% of samples. Total analyte concentration exceeded 10 microg/L in only 10 samples, with all but one of those originating from only two sampling sites. In these two locations, a good correlation was observed between the concentrations of octylphenol, nonylphenol, and to a lesser extent, bisphenol A in the samples and their estrogenicity values as calculated by RYA. We conclude that estrogenic activity can be explained by alkylphenol contamination in only these sites; for the remainder, we propose that pesticides and urban waste may be the main factors responsible for estrogenic contamination.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 02/2005; 24(2):389-95. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immunoenzyme assay (ELISA) is proposed and characterized for determination of alkylphenol ethoxylates, a primary class of manufactured non-ionic surfactants. The assay is based on the obtained polyclonal antibodies against nonylphenol (NP), the main stable intermediate of the decomposition of nonylphenol ethoxylates. A mixture of non-modified branched isomers of NP was applied as hapten coupled to protein carriers by Mannich reaction with the use of formaldehyde. The proposed ELISA format is based on immobilized NP-(soybean trypsin inhibitor) conjugate as a competitor of antigen molecules contained in the tested sample for binding with specific antibodies indirectly labeled via an anti-species immunoperoxidase conjugate. The developed ELISA allows to reveal NP with the limit of detection about 10ngml(-1) and NP-related compounds such as octylphenol, alkylphenoletoxylates, alkylphenolcarboxylates and their halogenated derivatives. The ELISA was applied for assaying polluted water samples, namely influents and effluents from different wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and tap water. ELISA and chromatographic data demonstrate good correlation (r = 0.94), while ELISA gives higher values. Due to endocrine disrupting and other toxic activities of some metabolites of alkylphenolic non-ionic surfactants, the developed assay may be effectively used in ecological monitoring and sanitary control.
    Talanta 02/2005; 65(2):367-74. · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Various chemometric data analysis methods, such as principal components analysis, multivariate curve resolution-alternating least squares, parallel factor analysis, and Tucker3, are proposed and compared for the resolution and modeling of main contamination sources in a large environmental data array obtained in an exhaustive environmental monitoring program that examined the quality of surface waters of Portugal. The study covered the analysis of 19 priority semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) frequently found in a total number of 644 surface water samples, including 46 different sites from throughout Portugal and corresponding to a period of 14 months, from April 1999 to May 2000. Main contamination sources of the analyzed SVOCs were identified and interpreted according to their chemical composition and according to their resolved geographical and temporal distribution profiles.
    Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 04/2004; 23(3):565-75. · 2.62 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An integrated procedure using mass spectrometry and molecular biology for determination of estrogenicity in natural waters and sediments is reported. Solid-phase extraction (SPE) and pressurized-liquid extraction (PLE), respectively, were used for isolation of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDC) from surface waters and sediments, followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry using an electrospray interface (LC-ESI-MS). Twenty seven EDC were determined: non-ionic surfactants (nonylphenol ethoxylate), alkylphenols (e.g. nonylphenol and octylphenol), bisphenol A, phthalates, and natural and synthetic steroid sex hormones. Limits of detection varied from 0.02 to 0.22 microg L(-1) and from 1 to 10 microg kg(-1) in water and sediments, respectively. Recoveries ranged from 65 to 125% and 73 to 97% for waters and sediments, respectively. In addition to LC-ESI-MS determination, extracts obtained by SPE and PLE were analyzed by the recombinant yeast assay (RYA) to assess total estrogenic activity. This bioassay detects natural estrogens and xenoestrogens, producing a quantitative measurement of EDC irrespective of the identity of the chemical responsible for the activity. As a novelty, a relative estrogenicity factor was determined for 19 analytes with EC(50) values ranging from 10(-10) to 10(-9) mol L(-1) for synthetic estrogens, from 10(-7) to 10(-5) mol L(-1) for alkylphenol derivatives, and from 10(-5) to 10(-4) mol L(-1) for phthalates and benzothiazoles. By use of this integrated chemical-ecotoxicological approach good correlation was usually established between chemical composition and estrogenic effects for surface water and sediment samples from Portugal. Estrogenic activity observed was mainly attributed to the presence of nonylphenolic compounds (with concentrations of NP ranging from 0.1 up to 44 microg L(-1) in waters and up to 1172 microg kg(-1) in sediments), and to the sporadic presence of estrogens, detected at ng L(-1) levels.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 03/2004; 378(3):697-708. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Surface water samples from 45 sampling points across Portugal have been analyzed monthly by automated Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) in SIM and SCAN modes. Sampling was carried out during a period of six months (April-September, 1999), in order to determine the levels of contamination of 72 organic compounds mainly selected from the EC Council Directive list (CEC 76/464/EEC). Atrazine, simazine, deethylatrazine, alachlor, metolachlor, Irgarol, terbuthylazine, tributhylphosphate, 2,4,6-trichlorophenol, 2-chlorophenol, 3-chlorophenol, pentachlorophenol, dimethoate, lindane, linuron, propanil, o,p'-DDD, o,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDE and malathion were the main detected compounds. Although Irgarol, terbuthylazine, deethylatrazine and deisopropylatrazine are not listed in the EC Directive, these herbicides and transformation products are currently in use and they were also included in the monitoring program and detected at some sites. Fifty-nine percent of the samples were below 0.1 microg l(-1), the detection limit required the EEC Drinking Water Directive (DWD). Some compounds were detected at values higher than the DWD, e.g. atrazine (2.7 microg l(-1)) and alachlor (5.43 microg l(-1)) in April. Simazine was also present with a high value (2.3 microg l(-1)) in September. Tributhylphosphate (5.40 microg l(-1)) and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2.31 microg l(-1)) were also found at high concentrations near industrial sites. Chemometric interpretation of the more representative contaminants was performed by means of Principal Component Analysis, allowing the resolution of the more relevant contamination sources and the description of their temporal and spatial (geographical) distributions.
    Environmental Technology 10/2001; 22(9):1043-54. · 1.61 Impact Factor