In Vivo Detection of Trace Organic Contaminants in Fish Using Solid Phase Microextraction
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The feasibility of using solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) as an in vivo sampling tool for analysis of trace environmental contaminants in fish exposed to municipal wastewater effluents (MWWEs) was validated using controlled laboratory and field experiments. SPME was compared with traditional extraction techniques， including solid phase extraction (SPE) in water and solid-liquid extraction (SLE) in fish tissues to assess relative efficiencies. All three techniques were used to quantify the presence of eight compounds of interest in fish exposed to MWWEs in the laboratory, as well as in wild and field caged fish upstream and downstream of three wastewater treatment plants in the Grand River watershed. Atrazine, carbamazepine, naproxen, diclofenac, gemfibrozil, bisphenol A, fluoxetine and ibuprofen were selected as target compounds due to their diverse chemical characteristics and frequent detection in surface waters and sediments around the world. The distribution coefficients between various sample matrices (water, fish) and extraction phases (SPME fibers) were compared, as were extraction profiles and bioconcentration factors of target analytes in muscle of fish exposed to MWWEs under laboratory conditions, during field caging studies, or collected (wild) from the Grand River. Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) medical grade tubing was utilized as the SPME extraction phase, which when kinetically calibrated, were effective at extracting and quantifying the target analytes from both water and fish tissue relative to traditional techniques. Caged and in wild fish exposed to MWWEs from all three municipal treatment plants bio-accumulated detectable levels of several of the target chemicals. All target analytes (except for fluoxetine) were identified in the MWWEs and exposed fish by SPME at low concentrations (ng/L). The presence and concentration of the targeted analytes in both water and wild fish living in the Grand River watershed varied with season and proximity to the wastewater outfalls. Results demonstrate that properly applied SPME can detect and quantify selected contaminants in fish tissues, surface water, and wastewater effluents. In vivo SPME allows for non-lethal sampling of fish, which creates the opportunity for monitoring contaminant exposure in receiving environments influenced by MWWEs or non-point-source runoff while minimizing the impact on the organisms.