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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Mar;21(6):4772-82. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-2438-7. Epub 2013 Dec 21.

Occurrence and analysis of selected pharmaceutical compounds in soil from Spanish agricultural fields.

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Departamento de Medio Ambiente, INIA, Ctra de la Coruña, 7, Madrid, 28040, Spain.


This work describes the analysis of 15 pharmaceutical compounds, belonging to different therapeutic classes (anti-inflammatory/analgesics, lipid regulators, antiepileptics, β-blockers and antidepressants) and with diverse physical-chemical properties, in Spanish soils with different farmland uses. The studied compounds were extracted from soil by ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) and determined, after derivatization, by gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS). The limits of detection (LODs) ranged from 0.14 ng g(-1) (naproxen) to 0.65 ng g(-1) (amitriptyline). At least two compounds where detected in all samples, being ibuprofen, salicylic acid, and paracetamol, the most frequently detected compounds. The highest levels found in soil were 47 ng g(-1) for allopurinol and 37 ng g(-1) for salicylic acid. The influence of the type of crop and the sampling area on the levels of pharmaceuticals in soil, as well as their relationship with soil physical-chemical properties, was studied. The frequent and widespread detection of some of these compounds in agricultural soils show a diffuse contamination, although the low levels found do not pose a risk to the environment or the human health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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