Streamlined Method for EPA 1694: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Water

Poster Presentation

Prepared by

Contact Information:; 215-781-9255


EPA 1694 was published in December 2007 as a screening method for the analysis of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in environmental samples, including water. The method uses solid-phase extraction (SPE) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for the analysis of 73 PPCPs in drinking water, surface water and treated wastewater. The PPCPs include common prescription drugs, over‐the‐counter medicines, dietary supplements and other consumer products. The method divides the PPCPs into four groups based on their physicochemical properties. Water samples are extracted by means of two SPE procedures, using acidic (pH 2) and basic (pH 10) loading conditions. The PPCPs are then analyzed by LC-MS/MS using four separate methods containing varying LC conditions (column, mobile phase and gradient) and ionization modes (ESI+ and ESI-). Fortunately, modifications to EPA 1694 are allowed if they are documented and provide performance equal to or better than that specified in the official method.

This poster will outline a streamlined analytical method for EPA 1694. The SPE procedure was optimized with the aim of obtaining acceptable recoveries of the PCPPs using a single extraction step rather than the multiple extraction procedures outlined in the original EPA method. Water samples were extracted using an Enviro-Clean® HL DVB highly cross-linked polymeric SPE cartridge without any sample pH adjustment. LC-MS/MS analysis was conducted with a single polyaromatic-based HPLC column (Selectra® DA) using only two methods (ESI+ and ESI-) rather than the two HPLC columns and four methods outlined in EPA 1694. The recovery and RSD values obtained were found to be within the documented method requirements for the vast majority of the PPCPs included in this study. Overall, the streamlined screening method presented in this poster significantly speeds up the analysis of PPCPs in water compared to the original EPA 1694 method.