[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to evaluate two different digestion procedures for the determination of the concentration of trace and major elements (As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, Pb, Sb, V, Zn) in five hundred randomly selected soil samples from LUCAS Soil Survey. The two procedures employed in sample preparation are the open vessel digestion, which is described in the ISO 11466:1995 , and the microwave assisted digestion, implemented in the prEN16174 document .
Certified Reference Materials (NIST 2711 and BCR 141R) were also analysed using both pre- treatment approaches in order to determine sample recoveries and assess quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) of the methods.
Results obtained with samples and CRMs analysis are useful to compare the two tested digestion procedures for recovery rate, safety, cost and time taken.
The results obtained from reference materials and soil samples revealed a good agreement between both procedures and the certified values. T-test was also employed to evaluate the hypothesis of equal mean between concentration determined after the open vessel and microwave-assisted digestions. This test demonstrates that, for the majority of the elements, the hypothesis is verified. The microwave procedure was then recommended as the method for the digestion of the 22 000 soil samples of the LUCAS Soil Survey, based on good precision and accuracy, speed and safety.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemical composition data for the Danube River and its tributaries sediments were analyzed using positive matrix factorization (PMF). The objective was to identify both natural and anthropogenic sources affecting Danube Basin. During the Joint Danube Survey 2 (JDS2) campaign 148 bottom sediments samples were collected. The following elements were analyzed using the X-ray fluorescence technique: Al, As, Ca, Cd, Cl, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, P, Pb, S, Si, Ti, V and Zn. Mercury was determined by cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry. Three factors were obtained considering the whole dataset (Danube and tributaries), identified as: (i) carbonate component characterized by Ca and Mg; (ii) alumino-silicate component dominated by Si and Al content and the presence of some metals attributed to natural processes; (iii) anthropogenic source identified by Hg, S, P and some heavy metals load. To better characterize the role of tributaries, the Danube and tributaries datasets, were also analyzed separately. The same three factor structures were identified in the Danube dataset. For the tributaries, a four-factor source model gave one further factor dominated by S and P, which could be attributed to the use of fertilizers in agriculture.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the year 2010, effluents from 90 European wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were analyzed for 156 polar organic chemical contaminants. The analyses were complemented by effect-based monitoring approaches aiming at estrogenicity and dioxin-like toxicity analyzed by in vitro reporter gene bioassays, and yeast and diatom culture acute toxicity optical bioassays. Analyses of organic substances were performed by solid-phase extraction (SPE) or liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) or gas chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (GC-HRMS). Target microcontaminants were pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), veterinary (antibiotic) drugs, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), organophosphate ester flame retardants, pesticides (and some metabolites), industrial chemicals such as benzotriazoles (corrosion inhibitors), iodinated x-ray contrast agents, and gadolinium magnetic resonance imaging agents; in addition biological endpoints were measured. The obtained results show the presence of 125 substances (80% of the target compounds) in European wastewater effluents, in concentrations ranging from low nanograms to milligrams per liter. These results allow for an estimation to be made of a European median level for the chemicals investigated in WWTP effluents. The most relevant compounds in the effluent waters with the highest median concentration levels were the artificial sweeteners acesulfame and sucralose, benzotriazoles (corrosion inhibitors), several organophosphate ester flame retardants and plasticizers (e.g. tris(2-chloroisopropyl)phosphate; TCPP), pharmaceutical compounds such as carbamazepine, tramadol, telmisartan, venlafaxine, irbesartan, fluconazole, oxazepam, fexofenadine, diclofenac, citalopram, codeine, bisoprolol, eprosartan, the antibiotics trimethoprim, ciprofloxacine, sulfamethoxazole, and clindamycine, the insect repellent N,N'-diethyltoluamide (DEET), the pesticides MCPA and mecoprop, perfluoroalkyl substances (such as PFOS and PFOA), caffeine, and gadolinium.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recent type of receptor modelling technique the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) has been applied to a geochemical dataset obtained by XRF analysis on sediments from 11 alpine lakes located in Italy. Also, two usual pattern recognition techniques, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Cluster Analysis (CA), were investigated. Four interpretable factors were identified through PMF analysis, in connection with the mineralogical/chemical features of lake sediments in the catchment areas: phosphate and sulphur source, carbonates, silicates and heavy metal-bearing minerals. Also, to properly modify individual uncertainty estimates, a new PMF factor was identified, explaining a possible Pb contamination source.
Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems 01/2011; 107(1):24 - 30. · 2.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study provides the first pan-European reconnaissance of the occurrence of polar organic persistent pollutants in European ground water. In total, 164 individual ground-water samples from 23 European Countries were collected and analysed (among others) for 59 selected organic compounds, comprising pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, pesticides (and their transformation products), perfluorinated acids (PFAs), benzotriazoles, hormones, alkylphenolics (endocrine disrupters), Caffeine, Diethyltoluamide (DEET), and Triclosan. The most relevant compounds in terms of frequency of detection and maximum concentrations detected were DEET (84%; 454 ng/L), Caffeine (83%; 189 ng/L), PFOA (66%; 39 ng/L), Atrazine (56%; 253 ng/L), Desethylatrazine (55%; 487 ng/L), 1H-Benzotriazole (53%; 1032 ng/L), Methylbenzotriazole (52%; 516 ng/L), Desethylterbutylazine (49%; 266 ng/L), PFOS (48%, 135 ng/L), Simazine (43%; 127 ng/L), Carbamazepine (42%; 390 ng/L), nonylphenoxy acetic acid (NPE(1)C) (42%; 11 microg/L), Bisphenol A (40%; 2.3 microg/L), PFHxS (35%; 19 ng/L), Terbutylazine (34%; 716 ng/L), Bentazone (32%; 11 microg/L), Propazine (32%; 25 ng/L), PFHpA (30%; 21 ng/L), 2,4-Dinitrophenol (29%; 122 ng/L), Diuron (29%; 279 ng/L), and Sulfamethoxazole (24%; 38 ng/L). The chemicals which were detected most frequently above the European ground water quality standard for pesticides of 0.1 microg/L were Chloridazon-desphenyl (26 samples), NPE(1)C (20), Bisphenol A (12), Benzotriazole (8), N,N'-Dimethylsulfamid (DMS) (8), Desethylatrazine (6), Nonylphenol (6), Chloridazon-methyldesphenyl (6), Methylbenzotriazole (5), Carbamazepine (4), and Bentazone (4). However, only 1.7% of all single analytical measurements (in total 8000) were above this threshold value of 0.1 microg/L; 7.3% were > than 10 ng/L.
Water Research 07/2010; 44(14):4115-26. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polar water-soluble organic contaminants were analysed in the dissolved liquid water phase of river water samples from the Danube River and its major tributaries (within the Joint Danube Survey 2). Analyses were performed by solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by triple-quadrupole liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS(2)). In total, 34 different polar organic compounds were screened. Focus was given on pharmaceutical compounds (such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, sulfamethoxazole, carbamazepine), pesticides and their degradation products (e.g. bentazone, 2,4-D, mecoprop, atrazine, terbutylazine, desethylterbutylazine), perfluorinated acids (PFOS; PFOA), and endocrine disrupting compounds (nonylphenol, NPE(1)C, bisphenol A, estrone). The most relevant polar compounds identified in the Danube River basin in terms of frequency of detection, persistency, and concentration levels were 1H-benzotriazole (median concentration 185 ng/L), caffeine (87 ng/L), tolyltriazole (73 ng/L), nonylphenoxy acetic acid (49 ng/L), carbamazepine (33 ng/L), 4-nitrophenol (29 ng/L), 2,4-dinitrophenol (19 ng/L), PFOA (17 ng/L), sulfamethoxazole (16 ng/L), desethylatrazine (11 ng/L), and 2,4-D (10 ng/L). The highest contamination levels were found in the area around Budapest and in the tributary rivers Arges (Romania), Timok (Bulgaria), Rusenski Lom (Bulgaria), and Velika Morava (Serbia).
Water Research 04/2010; 44(7):2325-35. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An analytical method was developed for the analysis of sucralose, a persistent chlorinated calorie-free sugar substitute, in surface waters. The method is based on solid-phase extraction (SPE) of 400mL water using Oasis HLB (Waters) adsorber material, followed by negative electrospray ionization (ESI) triple quadrupole LC-MS-MS detection. Quantification was performed by external calibration, as well as by isotope dilution with deuterated sucralose d6 internal standard. Extraction with Oasis HLB, a polymeric adsorbent suited for polar compounds, was much more efficient at neutral pH than at pH 3; a recovery of 62+/-9% (n=6; determined at 1microg/L) could be achieved. Strong ion suppression caused by matrix substances was observed for sucralose in the SPE extracts. The analysis of 120 river surface water samples from 27 European countries showed that sucralose, which is in use in Europe since beginning 2005, can be found in the aquatic environment, at concentrations up to 1microg/L. Sucralose was predominately found in samples from the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Norway, and Sweden, suggesting an increased use of the substance in Western Europe.
Journal of Chromatography A 01/2009; 1216(7):1126-31. · 4.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study provides the first EU-wide reconnaissance of the occurrence of polar organic persistent pollutants in European river waters. More than 100 individual water samples from over 100 European rivers from 27 European Countries were analysed for 35 selected compounds, comprising pharmaceuticals, pesticides, PFOS, PFOA, benzotriazoles, hormones, and endocrine disrupters. Around 40 laboratories participated in this sampling exercise. The most frequently and at the highest concentration levels detected compounds were benzotriazole, caffeine, carbamazepine, tolyltriazole, and nonylphenoxy acetic acid (NPE(1)C). Only about 10% of the river water samples analysed could be classified as "very clean" in terms of chemical pollution. The rivers responsible for the major aqueous emissions of PFOS and PFOA from the European Continent could be identified. For the target compounds chosen, we are proposing "indicative warning levels" in surface waters, which are (for most compounds) close to the 90th percentile of all water samples analysed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: C7-C11 perfluorinated carboxylates (PFACs) and perfluorooctansulfonate (PFOS) were analysed in selected stretches of the River Po and its major tributaries. Analyses were performed by solid-phase extraction (SPE) with Oasis HLB cartridges and methanol elution followed by LC-MS-MS detection using 13C-labelled internal standards. High concentration levels ( approximately 1.3 microg l(-1)) of perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) were detected in the Tánaro River close to the city Alessandria. After this tributary, levels between 60 and 337 ng l(-1) were measured in the Po River on several occasions. The PFOA concentration close to the river mouth in Ferrara was between 60 and 174 ng l(-1). Using the river discharge flow data in m3 s(-1) at this point (average approximately 920 m3 s(-1) for the year 2006), a mass load of approximately 0.3 kg PFOA per hour or approximately 2.6 tons per year discharged in the Adriatic Sea has been calculated. PFOS concentration levels in the Po River at Ferrara were approximately 10 ng l(-1).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In support of the implementation of the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD), the European Commission (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC) organized a laboratory and sampling intercomparison study for the chemical monitoring of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and nonylphenol and octylphenol (NP/OP), priority substances of the WFD, in river water. EU Member State laboratories were invited to analyze a standard solution with unknown concentration levels and a river-water extract, as well as a real water sample from the River Po (Italy). For the standard solution and the river-water extract, good agreement was achieved for five laboratories. Triple-quadrupole liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS2) and gas chromatography with MS (GC-MS) with or without derivatization proved to be comparable methods for the analysis of NP and OP. Fluorescence detection can also be used to analyze NP and OP, but it is less specific. The results of the River Po water sample showed that some laboratories have problems in analyzing NP at concentration levels below 100 ng/L due to contamination of laboratory blanks. Plastics materials should not be used during extraction and sample preparation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multivariate factor analytical techniques are widely used for the approximation, in terms of a linear combination of factors, of multivariate experimental data. The chemical composition of soil samples are multivariate in nature and provide datasets suitable for the application of these statistical techniques. Recent developments of multivariate factor analytical techniques have led to the approach of Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF), a weighted least squares fit of a data matrix in which the weights are determined depending on the error estimates of each individual data value. This approach relies on more physically significant assumptions than methods like Principal Components Analysis which is frequently used in the analysis of soil datasets. In this paper we apply PMF to characterise the pollutant source in a set of geographically referenced soil samples taken within a 200 m radius of a site characterised by a high concentration of heavy metals. Each sample has been analysed for major and minor elements (using wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry), carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen (using a CHN elemental analyzer) and mercury (using cold-vapour atomic absorption spectrometry). Analysis of the soils using PMF resulted in a successful partitioning of variances into sources related to background soil geochemistry, organic influences and those associated with the contamination. Combining these results with a geostatistical approach successfully demarcated the main source of the combined organic and heavy metal contamination.