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J Chromatogr A. 2009 Jan 16;1216(3):623-30. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2008.08.030. Epub 2008 Aug 14.

Strategies for monitoring the emerging polar organic contaminants in water with emphasis on integrative passive sampling.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.


Although polar organic contaminants (POCs) such as pharmaceuticals are considered as some of today's most emerging contaminants few of them are regulated or included in on-going monitoring programs. However, the growing concern among the public and researchers together with the new legislature within the European Union, the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals (REACH) system will increase the future need of simple, low cost strategies for monitoring and risk assessment of POCs in aquatic environments. In this article, we overview the advantages and shortcomings of traditional and novel sampling techniques available for monitoring the emerging POCs in water. The benefits and drawbacks of using active and biological sampling were discussed and the principles of organic passive samplers (PS) presented. A detailed overview of type of polar organic PS available, and their classes of target compounds and field of applications were given, and the considerations involved in using them such as environmental effects and quality control were discussed. The usefulness of biological sampling of POCs in water was found to be limited. Polar organic PS was considered to be the only available, but nevertheless, an efficient alternative to active water sampling due to its simplicity, low cost, no need of power supply or maintenance, and the ability of collecting time-integrative samples with one sample collection. However, the polar organic PS need to be further developed before they can be used as standard in water quality monitoring programs.

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