Monitoring of iodinated X-ray contrast media in surface water

Wolfram Seitz, Walter H. Weber, Jia-Qian Jiang*, Barry J. Lloyd, Matthias Maier, Dietrich Maier, Wolfgang Schulz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


A monitoring programme was carried out in order to determine iodinated X-ray contrast media (ICM) in the River Danube and to investigate the raw water quality for drinking water production at Langenau waterworks. The study revealed that the maximum concentrations of ICM (over 500 ng l-1 for diatrizoic acid and iopamidol) were found in 2 h-composite samples taken from the downstream of the Ulm/Neu-Ulm metropolitan area. By means of a concentration profile over one month the highest ICM concentrations were observed on weekdays. The extended data evaluation with principal component analysis shows that the upstream and downstream samples had different pattern of variations in ICM concentration and also demonstrates a clear change in ICM composition by the discharge of municipal wastewater. In addition to load profiles of ICM, time-dependent plots of principal component 1 exhibited peaks, indicating a short-term discharge of ICM between the two sampling sites. In conclusion, a point source for ICM contamination between the sampling sites in Ulm upstream and Leipheim downstream seems to be the reasonable explanation for peak ICM concentrations. Due to the observed high variations of ICM concentrations in river, the evaluation of natural waters by means of a single analysis is not representative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318-1324
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Early online date7 Feb 2006
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental monitoring
  • Iodinated X-ray contrast media
  • Principal component analysis
  • Surface water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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