An investigation on filtration procedures and SPE sorbents used for the determination of traces of the most common veterinary fluoroquinolones (FQs), marbofloxacin (MAR) and enrofloxacin (ENR) used as antibacterial agents in cattle and swine farms in the province of Pavia (Italy), was performed in natural waters. The composition and the sorbent used in the SPE strongly influence the correct recovery,both in terms of total and issolved FQs concentration. An accurate comparison among different filters and SPE sorbents showed that a full determination of analytes was possible on nylon filters followed by anionic (WAX) and hydrophilic–lipophilic balance (HLB) resins as SPE. Quantitative analysis was done by chromatography with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FD). Fluoroquinolones recovery was between 90 and 116% with RSD not greater than 10% (sample volume 250 mL). The developed method allowed to determine both dissolved and NOM-absorbed fractions of FQs, therefore a full determination of the analytes was possible. Limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were, respectively, 0.7 and 2.2 ng/L for ENR and 2 and 6 ng/L for MAR. The kinetics of degradation under solar light was explored.
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