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Determination of micropollutants in solid and liquid samples from swimming pool systems
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1  Institute of Water and Wastewater Engineering, Silesian University of Technology


The present study investigated the occurrence of selected micropollutants including emerging contaminants (mainly pharmaceuticals and personal care products - PPCPs) in selected swimming pool systems. The study area was selected based on the lack of available information regarding the suspected contamination of swimming pools water by PPCPs. The variety and concentration of chemical compounds in these aquatic systems can be quite diversified, presenting a challenge in terms of both purification and quality control. Determination of PPCPs requires very sensitive analytical methods that make it possible to confirm the presence of tested compounds in a complex organic extract. In this field, GC-MS gas chromatography can be used. This system enables to perform Selected Ion Monitoring, which reduces the detection limits of the investigated analyte.

This paper aims at presentation of analytical methods and strategies adapted to obtain information on the composition and characteristics of water in swimming pool systems with consideration sediments occurred there. There are three types of samples that can be taken from a swimming pool installation: water from pool basin, sediment from the bottom of pool basin and washings from cleaning the filter beds in filtration systems. The individual sample preparation methodology including solid phase extraction was developed for each type of sample.

Keywords: GC-MS, solid phase extraction, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, micropollutants, swimming pool systems
Comments on this paper
Joanna Wyczarska-Kokot
Connections between micropollutants and disease
Dear authors,
Good and very interesting job! Congratulation!
High sensitivity of the method used allows to measure very small concentrations of disinfection by-products and products of oxidation of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. I wonder if the concentration of CAF, BP-3 and CBZ may adversely affect the health of bathers? Are there known connections (some medical reports) between any disease unit and the occurrence of a micropollution in swimming pool water?
Thank you
Anna Lempart-Rapacewicz
Thank you for your interest !

The quantitative risk assessment performed by Teo, 2015 indicated that the health risk through oral and dermal exposure to chemicals detected in swimming pool in this study (including CAF and CBZ) were generally low and below commonly applied health risk benchmarks. However, the concentration values used in this risk assessment were based only on one swimming pool which may not be representative of the exposure of a wider range of swimming pools ! Generally, there is the lack of available information regarding the concentration levels of PPCPs in swimming pools. Based on this lack, the study area of the presented in our article was selected.

It is important to notice that the potential human health significance are based on individual compounds and thus do not account for the mixture of chemicals occurring in the swimming pool. The health effect of a mixture present in swimming pools has not been testes yet ! Further research on this subject is necessary. The following papers focused on the health risk of CBZ, CAF, BP3, based on individual compounds:

Nawrot, P., Jordan, S., Eastwood, J., Rotstein, J., Hugenholtz, A. & Feeley, M. 2003 Effects of caffeine on human health. Food Additives and Contaminants Part a – Chemistry Analysis Control Exposure & Risk Assessment 20(1), 1–30. doi:10.1080/0265203021000007840

Ambrosio, A. F., Silva, A. P., Araujo, I., Malva, J. O., Soares-da-Silva, P., Carvalho, A. P. & Carvalho, C. M. 2000 Neurotoxic/neuroprotective profile of carbamazepine, oxcarbazepine and two new putative antiepileptic drugs, BIA 2-093 and BIA 2-024. European Journal of Pharmacology 406(2), 191–201. doi:10.1016/s0014-2999(00)00659-2

Afshar, M., Moallem, S. A., Mohammadpour, A. H., Shiravi, A., Jalalian, S. M. & Golalipour, M. J. 2010 Teratogenic effects of carbamazepine on embryonic eye development in pregnant mice. Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology 29(1), 10–15. doi:10.3109/15569520903380353

Fent, K., Kunz, P. Y., Zenker, A. & Rapp, M. 2010 A tentative environmental risk assessment of the UV-filters 3-(4-methylbenzylidene-camphor), 2-ethyl-hexyl-4-trimethoxycinnamate, benzophenone-3, benzophenone-4 and 3-benzylidene camphor. Marine Environmental Research 69, S4–S6. doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2009.10.010
Joanna Wyczarska-Kokot
Thank you for your explanations. Good luck in further work!