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  1. Abstract Land application of treated sewage sludge (also known as biosolids) is considered a sustainable route of disposal because it reduces waste loading into landfills while improving soil health. However, this waste management practice can introduce contaminants from biosolids, such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), into the environment. PFAS have been observed to be taken up by plants, accumulate in humans and animals, and have been linked to various negative health effects. There is limited information on the nature and amounts of PFAS introduced from biosolids that have undergone different treatment processes. Therefore, this study developed analytical techniques to improve the characterization of PFAS in complex biosolid samples. Different clean-up techniques were evaluated and applied to waste-activated sludge (WAS) and lime-stabilized primary solids (PS) prior to targeted analysis and suspect screening of biosolid samples. Using liquid chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry, a workflow was developed to achieve parallel quantitative targeted analysis and qualitative suspect screening. This study found that concentrations of individual PFAS (27 targeted analytes) can range from 0.6 to 84.6 ng/g in WAS (average total PFAS = 241.4 ng/g) and from 1.6 to 33.8 ng/g in PS (average total PFAS = 72.1 ng/g). The suspect screening workflow identified seven additional PFAS in the biosolid samples,more »five of which have not been previously reported in environmental samples. Some of the newly identified compounds are a short-chain polyfluorinated carboxylate (a PFOS replacement), a diphosphate ester (a PFOA precursor), a possible transformation product of carboxylate PFAS, and an imidohydrazide which contains a sulfonate and benzene ring.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) can enter agricultural fields through wastewater irrigation, biosolid amendments, or urine fertilization. Numerous studies have assessed the risk of PPCP contamination, however there are no standardized methodologies for sample treatment, making the interpretation of results challenging. Various time periods between sampling and analysis have been reported (shipping, storage, etc. ), but literature is lacking in the evaluation of PPCP degradation amidst this process. This study assessed the stability of 20 pharmaceuticals (200 μg L −1 ) in soil and crops stored at −40 °C for 7, 30, and 310 days. After 310 days, caffeine, meprobamate, trimethoprim, primidone, carbamazepine, anhydro-erythromycin and dilantin were found to be stable (≥75% recovery) in all matrices. On the other hand, acetaminophen, amitriptyline, bupropion, lamotrigine, sulfamethoxazole, naproxen, ibuprofen, and paroxetine were unstable after 30 days in at least one of the matrices investigated. Due to variations in analyte stability, fortification with isotopically-labelled surrogates at the point of sample collection was evaluated in comparison to fortification after shipment and storage, immediately prior to extraction. Chromatographic peak areas of stable analytes were found to be reproducible (±15%) in field-fortified samples, indicating that no additional error occurred during sample handling under field conditionsmore »despite having a less controlled environment. Unstable analytes revealed notable differences in peak areas between fortification times, suggesting that fortification immediately after sample collection is crucial to account for analyte losses during shipping and storage, resulting in accurate quantification of PPCPs.« less