Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 19, pp 11370–11379 | Cite as

A national reconnaissance for selected organic micropollutants in sediments on French territory

  • Emmanuelle VullietEmail author
  • Alexandra Berlioz-Barbier
  • Florent Lafay
  • Robert Baudot
  • Laure Wiest
  • Antoine Vauchez
  • François Lestremau
  • Fabrizio Botta
  • Cécile Cren-Olivé
Research Article


To collect a large data set regarding the occurrence of organic substances in sediment, this study presents the examination of 20 micropollutants, as a national survey. The list of target compounds contains two alkylphenols, three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) not commonly included in monitoring programmes, six pesticides or metabolites, five pharmaceutical compounds, two hormones, one UV filter and bisphenol A. The selective and sensitive analytical methods, based on quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) sample preparation followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) or gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-ToF-MS), allow the quantification at limits comprised between 0.5 and 23 ng/g, depending on the compound. The paper summarizes the analytical results from 154 sampling points. Of the 20 target compounds, 9 were determined at least once, and the sediments contained a maximum of 7 substances. The most frequently detected were PAHs (frequency, 77 %; max., 1,400 ng/g). The pharmaceutical compounds, hormones and pesticides were rarely detected in the samples; the most frequently detected was carbamazepine (frequency, 6 %; max., 31 ng/g). In some cases, the levels of PAHs and bisphenol A exceed the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) values.


Sediments PAHs Pesticides Emerging pollutants LC-MS/MS GC-ToF-MS 



The authors wish to acknowledge the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA) and the water agencies for their financial support. Authors are also grateful to AQUAREF for its technical and analytical support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanuelle Vulliet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexandra Berlioz-Barbier
    • 1
  • Florent Lafay
    • 1
  • Robert Baudot
    • 1
  • Laure Wiest
    • 1
  • Antoine Vauchez
    • 1
  • François Lestremau
    • 2
  • Fabrizio Botta
    • 2
  • Cécile Cren-Olivé
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de Lyon, Institut des Sciences Analytiques UMR 5280 CNRS (Equipe TRACES)VilleurbanneFrance
  2. 2.INERIS—French National Institute for Industrial Environment and RisksVerneuil-en-HalatteFrance

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