Hormones and pharmaceuticals in groundwater used as a source of drinking water across the United States

Environmental Science & Technology
By: , and 

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  • More information: Publisher Index Page (via DOI)
  • Data Releases:
    • USGS data release – Third-party performance assessment data encompassing the time period of analysis of groundwater samples collected for hormones and pharmaceuticals by the National Water-Quality Assessment Project in 2013-15
    • USGS data release – Laboratory Quality-Control Data Associated with Groundwater Samples Collected for Hormones and Pharmaceuticals by the National Water-Quality Assessment Project in 2013-15
    • USGS data release – Environmental and Quality-Control Data Collected by the USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Project for Hormones and Pharmaceuticals in Groundwater Used as a Source of Drinking Water Across the United States, 2013-15
  • Open Access Version: Publisher Index Page
  • Download citation as: RIS | Dublin Core

Abstract

This is the first large-scale, systematic assessment of hormone and pharmaceutical occurrence in groundwater used for drinking across the United States. Samples from 1091 sites in Principal Aquifers representing 60% of the volume pumped for drinking-water supply had final data for 21 hormones and 103 pharmaceuticals. At least one compound was detected at 5.9% of 844 sites representing the resource used for public supply across the entirety of 15 Principal Aquifers, and at 11.3% of 247 sites representing the resource used for domestic supply over subareas of nine Principal Aquifers. Of 34 compounds detected, one plastics component (bisphenol A), three pharmaceuticals (carbamazepine, sulfamethoxazole, and meprobamate), and the caffeine degradate 1,7-dimethylxanthine were detected in more than 0.5% of samples. Hydrocortisone had a concentration greater than a human-health benchmark at 1 site. Compounds with high solubility and low Koc were most likely to be detected. Detections were most common in shallow wells with a component of recent recharge, particularly in crystalline-rock and mixed land-use settings. Results indicate vulnerability of groundwater used for drinking water in the U.S. to contamination by these compounds is generally limited, and exposure to these compounds at detected concentrations is unlikely to have adverse effects on human health.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hormones and pharmaceuticals in groundwater used as a source of drinking water across the United States
Series title Environmental Science & Technology
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.8b05592
Volume 53
Issue 6
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher ACS Publications
Contributing office(s) National Water Quality Program, National Water Quality Assessment Program, Branch of Analytical Serv (NWQL)
Description Article: 11 p.; 3 Data Releases
First page 2950
Last page 2960
Country United States