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Pharmaceuticals and Hormones in the Environment

Environment: Water and Waste

  1. Tammy L Jones-Lepp1,
  2. David A Alvarez2,
  3. Brian Englert3,
  4. Angela L. Batt4

Published Online: 15 SEP 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9059

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Jones-Lepp, T. L., Alvarez, D. A., Englert, B. and Batt, A. L. 2009. Pharmaceuticals and Hormones in the Environment. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Las Vegas, NV, USA

  2. 2

    USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center, Columbia, MO, USA

  3. 3

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA

  4. 4

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2009


Some of the earliest initial reports from Europe and the United States demonstrated that a variety of pharmaceuticals and hormones could be found in surface waters, source waters, drinking water, and influents and effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). It is unknown though, at this time, what ecotoxicological effects can be had from pharmaceuticals and hormones that are essentially designed for one purpose (e.g., treatment of human and domestic livestock for illness and disease) and their possible adverse effects on terrestrial wildlife, aquatic organisms, bacteria, and ultimately humans, through unintentional environmental exposure.

One of the challenges the analytical chemistry community faces is the development of robust and standardized analytical methods and technologies that can easily be transferred to laboratories worldwide. While today's analysts can detect picograms per liter and nanograms per liter concentrations of numerous pharmaceuticals, hormones, and their metabolites, in a variety of environmental matrices, there are still analytical gaps that are necessary to fill. We hope that this article will add to the body of knowledge of environmental analytical chemistry techniques regarding pharmaceuticals and hormones, giving environmental scientists a good overview of those analytical techniques that are currently available, and where possible, of improvements and new methodologies that can be developed in support of this important, and relevant, environmental issue.


  • environmental chemistry;
  • pharmaceuticals;
  • hormones;
  • analytical chemistry;
  • solid-phase extraction;
  • sampling;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • pressurized liquid extraction;
  • green chemistry