Identification of mutagenic and endocrine disrupting compounds in surface water and wastewater treatment plant effluents using high-resolution effect-directed analysis

Nick Zwart, Willem Jonker, Rob ten Broek, Jacob de Boer, Govert Somsen, Jeroen Kool, Timo Hamers, Corine J. Houtman, Marja H. Lamoree*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


Effect-directed analysis (EDA) has shown its added value for the detection and identification of compounds with varying toxicological properties in water quality research. However, for routine toxicity assessment of multiple toxicological endpoints, current EDA is considered labor intensive and time consuming. To achieve faster EDA and identification, a high-throughput (HT) EDA platform, coupling a downscaled luminescent Ames and cell-based reporter gene assays with a high-resolution fraction collector and UPLC-QTOF MS, was developed. The applicability of the HT-EDA platform in the analysis of aquatic samples was demonstrated by analysis of extracts from WWTP influent, effluent and surface water. Downscaled assays allowed detection of mutagenicity and androgen, estrogen and glucocorticoid agonism following high-resolution fractionation in 228 fractions. From 8 masses tentatively identified through non-target analysis, 2 masses were further investigated and chemically and biologically confirmed as the mutagen 1,2,3-benzotriazole and the androgen androstenedione. The compatibility of the high-throughput EDA platform with analysis of water samples and the incorporation of mutagenic and endocrine disruption endpoints allow for future application in routine monitoring in drinking water quality control and improved identification of (emerging) mutagens and endocrine disruptors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115204
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalWater Research
Early online date16 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020



  • Bioassay
  • Effect-directed analysis
  • Endocrine disruption
  • High-resolution
  • High-throughput
  • Mutagenicity

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