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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Investigation into Effect of Soil Moisture Depletion on Vegetable Crop Uptake of Microcontaminants under Recycled Water Irrigation

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Reclaimed wastewater has been increasingly used for irrigation throughout the world, but questions remain about potential public health risks. The accumulation of emerging contaminants in crops has been proposed but no data exists regarding the uptake of these compounds by crops consumed fresh by humans.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Greenhouse experiments will be conducted to determine the potential for 4 compounds found in treated effluent to accumulate in crops eaten fresh. The compounds selected are carbamazepine, lincomycin, ibuprofen, and caffeine. Crops will be irrigated with the known concentrations of the compounds irrigated at different soil moisture depletions. Concentrations of the compounds will be determined from the edible portions of the crops.


3.Progress Report:

This research relates to objective 2 of the project plan. Initial experiments have been conducted to develop extraction procedures for the compounds from the complex plant matrix. Detection limits for the compounds in the crops are 1 ppb. The first set of crops have been grown with Caffeine added to the irrigation water and are in the process of being analyzed for caffeine content. Crops for the next experiment are being started so that the uptake of the next PPCP can be quantified.


Last Modified: 11/21/2014
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