Passive sampling of wastewater as a tool for the long-term monitoring of community exposure: Illicit and prescription drug trends as a proof of concept
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific publications 
OriginalversjonWater Research. 2017, 121, 221-230. 10.1016/j.watres.2017.05.041
A passive sampling device, the Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampler (POCIS), was calibrated in-situ over a 4-week period in Oslo (Norway) for 10 illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals with the goal of developing an approach for monitoring long-term wastewater drug loads. The calibrations were performed in triplicate using three different overlapping calibration sets under changing environmental conditions that allowed the uncertainty of the sampling rates to be evaluated. All 10 compounds exhibited linear uptake kinetics and provided sampling rates of between 0.023 and 0.192 L d−1. POCIS were deployed for consecutive 2-week periods during 2012 and 2013 and the calculated time-weighted average (TWA) concentrations used to define different drug use trends. The relative uncertainty related to the POCIS data was approximately 40% and, except for citalopram, 85% of all the long-term measurements of pharmaceuticals were within the confidence interval levels calculated to evaluate the effects of changing environmental conditions on the TWA estimations. POCIS was demonstrated to be sufficiently robust to provide reliable annual drug use estimates with a smaller number of samplers (n = 24) than recommended for active sampling (n = 56) within an acceptable level of sample size related uncertainty < 10%. POCIS is demonstrated to be a valuable and reliable tool for the long-term monitoring of certain drugs and pharmaceuticals within a defined population.
Embargo until 20 May 2019.