In the last years, hormone consumption has increased exponentially. Because of that, hormone compounds are considered emerging pollutants since several studies have determinted their presence in water influents and effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In this study, a quantitative method for the simultaneous determination of oestrogens (estrone, 17 β -estradiol, estriol, 17 α -ethinylestradiol, and diethylstilbestrol), androgens (testosterone), and progestogens (norgestrel and megestrol acetate) has been developed to determine these compounds in wastewater samples. Due to the very low concentrations of target compounds in the environment, a solid phase extraction procedure has been optimized and developed to extract and preconcentrate the analytes. Determination and quantification were performed by ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). The method developed presents satisfactory limits of detection (between 0.15 and 9.35 ng•L(-1)), good recoveries (between 73 and 90% for the most of compounds), and low relative standard deviations (under 8.4%). Samples from influents and effluents of two wastewater treatment plants of Gran Canaria (Spain) were analyzed using the proposed method, finding several hormones with concentrations ranged from 5 to 300 ng•L(-1).
The article is published online in the Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry and is free to access.