Source Apportionment and Risk Assessment of Emerging Contaminants: An Approach of Pharmaco-Signature in Water Systems

Jheng Jie Jiang, Chon Lin Lee, Meng Der Fang, Kenneth G. Boyd, Stuart W. Gibb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a methodology based on multivariate data analysis for characterizing potential source contributions of emerging contaminants (ECs) detected in 26 river water samples across multi-scape regions during dry and wet seasons. Based on this methodology, we unveil an approach toward potential source contributions of ECs, a concept we refer to as the “Pharmaco-signature.” Exploratory analysis of data points has been carried out by unsupervised pattern recognition (hierarchical cluster analysis, HCA) and receptor model (principal component analysis-multiple linear regression, PCA-MLR) in an attempt to demonstrate significant source contributions of ECs in different land-use zone. Robust cluster solutions grouped the database according to different EC profiles. PCA-MLR identified that 58.9% of the mean summed ECs were contributed by domestic impact, 9.7% by antibiotics application, and 31.4% by drug abuse. Diclofenac, ibuprofen, codeine, ampicillin, tetracycline, and erythromycin-H2O have significant pollution risk quotients (RQ>1), indicating potentially high risk to aquatic organisms in Taiwan.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2015

Cite this