Effects of soil moisture depletion on vegetable crop uptake of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs)

Sergio Santiago, Deborah M. Roll, Chittaranjan Ray, Clinton Williams, Philip Moravcik, Allan Knopf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Agricultural crops have a long history of being irrigated with recycled wastewater (RW). However, its use on vegetable crops has been of concern due to the potential prevalence of microcontaminants, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the latter, which represents a possible health hazard to consumers. We investigated the uptake of three PPCPs (atenolol, diclofenac, and ofloxacin), at three different concentrations in irrigation water (0.5, 5, and 25 μg L−1) in relation to three varying volumetric soil moisture depletion levels of 14 % (−4.26 kPa), 10 % (−8.66 kPa), and 7 % (−18.37 kPa) by various vegetable crop species. Experiments were conducted in a split-split block completely randomized design. PPCPs were extracted using a developed method of accelerated solvent extraction and solid phase extraction and analyzed via liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS). Results indicate that all treated crops were capable of PPCP uptake at nanogram per gram concentrations independent of the applied soil moisture depletion levels and PPCP concentrations. Ofloxacin was the chemical with the highest uptake amounts, followed by atenolol and then diclofenac. Although the results were not statistically significant, higher concentrations of PPCPs were detected in plants maintained under higher soil moisture levels of 14 % (−4.26 kPa).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20257-20268
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Crop uptake
  • Pharmaceuticals and personal care products
  • PPCPs
  • Soil moisture depletion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of soil moisture depletion on vegetable crop uptake of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this