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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 3217080, 7 pages
Research Article

Rapid Screening Method for Detecting Ethinyl Estradiol in Natural Water Employing Voltammetry

1Departamento de Química, Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste, 85040-080 Guarapuava, PR, Brazil
2Departamento de Química, Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, 84030-900 Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil

Received 20 June 2016; Revised 24 August 2016; Accepted 28 August 2016

Academic Editor: Sibel A. Ozkan

Copyright © 2016 Chalder Nogueira Nunes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


17α-Ethinyl estradiol (EE2), which is used worldwide in the treatment of some cancers and as a contraceptive, is often found in aquatic systems and is considered a pharmaceutically active compound (PhACs) in the environment. Current methods for the determination of this compound, such as chromatography, are expensive and lengthy and require large amounts of toxic organic solvents. In this work, a voltammetric procedure is developed and validated as a screening tool for detecting EE2 in water samples without prior extraction, clean-up, or derivatization steps. Application of the method we elaborate here to EE2 analysis is unprecedented. EE2 detection was carried out using differential pulse adsorptive cathodic stripping voltammetry (DP AdCSV) with a hanging mercury drop electrode (HMDE) in pH 7.0 Britton-Robinson buffer. The electrochemical process of EE2 reduction was investigated by cyclic voltammetry at different scan rates. Electroreduction of the hormone on a mercury electrode exhibited a peak at − V versus Ag/AgCl. The experimental parameters were as follows: −0.7 V accumulation potential, 150 s accumulation time, and 60 mV s−1 scan rate. The limit of detection was 0.49 μg L−1 for a preconcentration time of 150 s. Relative standard deviations were less than 13%. The method was applied to the detection of EE2 in water samples with recoveries ranging from 93.7 to 102.5%.