Expanded Analysis of Human Hormones in Drinking Water Using Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Oral Presentation

Prepared by C. Fisher1, C. Martins2, E. George2, A. Kettle1
1 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, 1214 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale, CA, 94085, United States
2 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, 355 River Oaks Parkway, San Jose, CA, 95134, United States

Contact Information: carl.fisher@thermofisher.com; 408-481-4208


The presence of hormones in drinking water is a human health concern with several being routinely monitored as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR3). Various forms of estrogen are prescribed as a hormonal contraceptive device, for estrogen deficiency syndromes, and to counter the negative effects associated with the natural decline in estrogen levels, such as accelerated bone loss, in postmenopausal women. Due to the widespread use of hormone pharmaceuticals, these often end up in the sewage system as a result of excretion and disposal of unwanted quantities. There is evidence that hormones may not be effectively removed during wastewater treatment, and as a result, significant amounts of these hormones may be present in drinking water sources. To monitor the levels of the seven most common hormones in drinking water, EPA method 539 was developed. The work presented here updates this method to include five additional hormones and describes the use of an automated solid phase extraction (SPE) system containing high surface area reversed-phase (HRPHS) cartridges, followed by liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) with timed selected-reaction monitoring (TSRM) mode for detection and quantification. Data acquisition and processing were automatically performed using a quantitation software package. The results of chromatographic separation, SPE recoveries, and Lowest Concentration Minimum Reporting Level (LCMRL) will be presented.