PRESENTER: Katja Shimko (Visiting Research Student, King’s College, London)

TITLE: Can wastewater-based epidemiology be used for the assessment of anabolic steroid use?

ABSTRACT: Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are exogenous substances, related to the male hormone testosterone. The muscle growth and strength enhancing properties of these compounds can lead to their misuse among athletes and are therefore prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Subsequently, checks are often performed on individual professional, in-competition athletes. For this reason the literature is generally focussed on the detection of AAS in biological matrices such as animal or human urine, hair, plasma or blood.

Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) is a concept that can be used to provide spatial and temporal information on the use of chemicals within a population without being invasive. Analytical methods such as liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry can be used to detect and quantify chemicals such as licit and illicit drugs, personal care products and environmental contaminants in wastewater samples collected from the influent of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

The aim of this project was to develop a selective and sensitive method for the identification and quantification of multiple anabolic steroids in influent wastewater by using solid-phase extraction (SPE) with subsequent LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis. An LC-ESI-MS/MS and SPE method have been developed and optimised for these compounds. Following method validation, targeted analysis of influent wastewater was performed on a total of 16 samples from two different WWTPs.


PRESENTER: Hasan Kayalar (Visiting Research Student, King’s College, London)

TITLE: Can wastewater analysis be used to inform on the clandestine production of methylamphetamine?

ABSTRACT: Methylamphetamine is an amphetamine-type stimulant and is one of the most used illegal drugs in the world. In addition to the severe health consequences, the rehabilitation, prevention and treatment come at a large cost to society. Apart from importation of methylamphetamine to Australia, clandestine laboratories also produce large quantities of methylamphetamine by using precursor chemicals. Wastewater analysis is one approach to measure the use of a drug in a particular community. It may also be possible to use wastewater analysis to detect clandestine methylamphetamine production by measuring the common precursor chemical, pseudoephedrine. An analytical method was developed by using liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry for the detection and quantification of pseudoephedrine in wastewater. Limits of detection and quantification were in the range of 0.02-0.09 ng.mL-1 and 0.07-0.26 ng.mL-1 respectively.  The developed method showed a high precision and accuracy. Norpseudoephedrine and norephedrine which are the metabolites of pseudoephedrine and methamphetamine, N, N-dimethylamphetamine which is a common clandestine production impurity, amphetamine which is the secondary metabolite of the illicit methylamphetamine and methylamphetamine itself are also included into the developed analytical method to draw a more precise conclusion on the detection of clandestine activity.


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