Analysis of emerging contaminants and biomarker of endocrine disruption by using liquid chromatography and different mass spectrometry techniques
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Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are among the most popular emerging contaminants nowadays. Some PPCPs in the environment can result in endocrine disruption effects and cause environmental problems e.g., fish feminization. This thesis focuses on analyzing the PPCPs and biomarkers of endocrine disruption in complex matrix using high performance liquid chromatography and different mass spectrometry techniques. Methods using solid phase extraction coupled with liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry were developed and validated to quantify PPCPs in wastewater. One of the methods developed involved using wrong-way-round ionization techniques to analyze compounds with a large range of pKa simultaneously in one run: compounds were analyzed under positive mode with high pH mobile phase (pH 10.2). The methods were applied to real wastewater samples, and contributed to investigate the PPCPs removal efficiency in wastewater treatment plant (WWTPs) in various redox conditions, and to explore the PPCPs biodegradation kinetics in WWTPs. Analysis of the biomarker of endocrine disruption--vitellogenin--in the fathead minnow and carp serum using high resolution mass spectrometry was also studied in the thesis. Tryptic digestion was performed with the purified vitellogenin, and two potential signature peptides were found for vitellogenin quantitation.