Waters Corp. Offers Authorities Free Drug Analysis

Responding to recent reports of trace levels of pharmaceuticals found in U.S. drinking water supplies, Waters Corporation of Milford, Mass., announced on March 19 that it will offer qualified U.S. water authorities complimentary drinking water analysis for common over-the-counter and prescription antidepressant pharmaceutical compounds.

"As a provider of analytical technologies capable of detecting trace levels of contaminants in water, food, and the environment, Waters is keenly aware of the broad impact that contaminants can have on our natural resources," said Rohit Khanna, vice president of Worldwide Marketing for the Waters Division. "As scientists, we at Waters believe in the need -- and have the solutions -- to assess baseline data to measure contamination levels, if any. Through this program, we hope to work in cooperation with U.S. water authorities to better assess the public's exposure to pharmaceutical residues and assist them with potential action plans."

For 50 years, Waters has produced advanced environmental solutions and worked with regulatory and government agencies at all levels. For example, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently published a method to test for pharmaceutical and personal care products in water, soil, sediment, and biosolids; a method which references Waters solutions throughout. More recently, Waters is applying advance technology to deliver an automated solution with improved throughput for drinking water analysis.

For a limited time, Waters will offer authorized officials from any U.S. water authority that serves more than 100,000 customers to submit a request for a complimentary test for common over-the-counter and anti-depressant pharmaceutical compounds of their finished water (tap water) by visiting http://www.waters.com/h2o. Requests will only be honored from authorized water officials and the results will be held in strict confidence. Waters will not accept requests from third parties.

The intention of these tests is to provide a baseline understanding of exposure to facilitate long-term solutions. These complimentary tests will not be validated or certified and are only intended as an initial screen for the detection of pharmaceutical residues.

Waters will test samples using the AquaAnalysis System, which can detect target analytes at or below 10 parts-per- trillion. The system has been shown to improve sample throughput by up to 80 percent by cutting analysis times from between three to five hours to just 30 minutes.

In December 2007, EPA published Method 1694 Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Water, Soil, Sediment, and Biosolids by HPLC/MS/MS. Using Waters chemistry products, Method 1694 identifies pharmaceuticals and personal care products in environmental samples by high performance liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry

(HPLC/MS/MS) using isotope dilution and internal standard quantification techniques. This method has been developed for use with aqueous, solid, and biosolids matrices.

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