Simultaneous detection of controlled substances in waste water
This study presents a method of simultaneous detection of both traditional and newly emerged drugs of abuse in wastewater. The method is based on solid phase extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. This analytical method separates 25 drugs from different classes including amphetamines, cathinones, tropane alkaloids, piperazines plus ketamine, amitriptyline, diazepam and morphine. In addition, newer compounds (methcathinone, mephedrone, butylone), and isomers (1-(2-methoxyphenyl) piperazine, 1-(4-methoxyphenyl) piperazine; 1-(2-flurophenyl) piperazine, 1-(4-flurophenyl) piperazine; 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl) piperazine, 1-(4-trifluoromethylphenyl) piperazine) have been separated, with greater sensitivity (×100 order of magnitude). This work reports the detection of butylone, mephedrone, 1-(4-methoxyphenyl) piperazine, 1-(2-flurophenyl) piperazine and 1-methyl-4-benzylpiperazine for the first time in waste water. This suggests that with changes in drug use patterns, constant monitoring of waste water entering treatment plants should be carried out and treatment processes need to be put in place for their removal.