In recent years, numerous studies have reported the prevalence of organic micropollutants in natural waters. There is an increasing interest in assessing the occurrence and transport of these contaminants in groundwater because a large number of people in the United States rely on groundwater for their drinking water. However, commonly used mass-spectrometry-based analytical methods are expensive and time-consuming. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method offers an inexpensive analytical alternative that provides semi-quantitative results in a relatively quick timeframe. We investigated the use of ELISA for two commonly detected micropollutants, sulfamethoxazole (SMX) and carbamazepine (CBZ), in groundwater collected as part of two different studies, one in Minnesota and the other in Iowa. The ELISA results were compared with two mass-spectrometry-based methods: (1) direct aqueous injection-high performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC) and (2) online solid-phase extraction with liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (SPE LC). Differences in SMX and CBZ observations between ELISA and both HPLC and SPE LC were analyzed using the Paired Prentice-Wilcoxon test. Estimates of bias and limits of agreement between paired observations also were calculated. The SMX determinations by ELISA yielded results that were 30 and 14% greater than HPLC and SPE LC, respectively. The CBZ determinations by ELISA yielded results that were 25 and 9% greater than HPLC and SPE LC, respectively. The ELISA determinations were in presence-absence agreement with HPLC for 83% of samples for SMX and CBZ; and with SPE LC for 76 and 80% of samples for SMX and CBZ, respectively. Results indicate that ELISA for SMX and CBZ is a reliable and cost effective screening-tool alternative to more commonly used mass spectrometry-based analytical methods.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2018
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