L. Jones-Lepp, M.S.
Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, NERL/ORD
EXPERTISE: Method development and research focused on mass spectrometry using liquid chromatography-electrospray-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS, hands-on expertise with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry, ion trap mass spectrometry and time-of-flight mass spectrometry), LC-charged aerosol detector (LC-CAD), and CE-MS [hands-on expertise with interfacing CE with electrospray-mass spectrometry (quadrupole and ion trap)]. Analytical methods to detect textile dyes, herbicides, organometallics, and pharmaceuticals in a variety of environmental matrices.
INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH MISSION: Immediate research objectives: Solve analytical problems relating to the detection, speciation, and identification of human waste markers (i.e., urobilin) and pharmaceuticals by LC/MS/MS and apply these results to understanding environmental exposures. Long-term research objectives: Relevance of fate and transport of pharmaceuticals into the environment. Extrapolating the environmental data to the resultant exposure to humans and aguatic organisms.
SIGNIFICANCE/RELEVANCE OF RESEARCH IN RISK ASSESSMENT PARADIGM: Analytical chemistry plays a central, critical, and crosscutting role not just in hazardous waste management, environmental monitoring, site characterization, and risk assessment, but also in numerous engineering processes required for manufacturing, waste treatment, and site remediation. Development of methods for environmental chemical analysis must necessarily be a continual process because these methods serve as the foundation for all data collected under regulatory programs and also serve as key elements in assessing risk to human and ecological health. Research development efforts for methods are directly applicable, cross-over, and are essential to many EPA regulatory programs such as the Clean Water Act (CWA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund),Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and many more. Former research methods, such as the high-resolution capillary column GC/MS protocol and SW-846 Method 8321(thermospray LC/MS/MS) developed by Ms. Jones-Lepp and coworkers in the 1980’s, served as the foundation for collection of all environmental status and trends data for the determination of transport, fate, and distribution of chemicals in air, water, soil, sediments, wastes, biota, and tissues. The use of Method 8321 enabled the Agency to comprehensibly monitor such diverse nonvolatile compounds as organic dyes and organophosphorus pesticides. Ms. Jones- Lepp was responsible for converting her research application of electrospray-ion trap mass spectrometry to the speciation and detection of organotins into a new SW-846 method, Method 8323, this was the first EPA-approved LC-electrospray-MS/MS method. Her research has supported the listing of organotins on the draft Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) as published in the Federal Register (Monday, March 2, 1998 Part III Environmental Protection Agency, Announcement of the Drinking water Contaminant Candidate Listing Notice, vol. 63, no. 40, pg 10282).
Her recent research efforts are centered on developing sensitive and rapid methodology for detecting human waste in source waters as well as improving on technologies, i.e., electrospray-ion trap mass spectrometry, to detect low-levels of select pharmaceuticals (e.g., macrolide antibiotics) in the environment.
SIGNIFICANT PIONEERING CONTRIBUTIONS: Ms Jones-Lepp was part of the first research group to use triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (MS/MS) as a detector for thermospray LC/MS; this effort enabled the use of structural identification techniques to monitor nonvolatile pollutants. In 1995 Ms Jones-Lepp was one of the first-ever EPA recipients of the Arthur S. Flemming Award in Science category, (http://www.gwu.edu/~flemming/index.html). In 2000 she was awarded the Agency's highest science award - Science Achievement Award (SAA) for her novel approaches towards organotin research.
Her recent pioneering work has been in developing new approaches for determining pharmaceuticals (e.g. macrolide antibiotics, and illicit drugs) in problematic matrices (e.g., wastewater, biosolids, sediments, plant tissue) by means of LC-MS/MS and the application of this new technique to addressing several environmental and public health issues. She was the first to publish in the peer-review literature data regarding the occurrence of illicit drugs (i.e., methamphetamine and ecstasy) in treated municipal wastewater and source waters (Jones-Lepp et al. "Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampling (POCIS) and LC-ES/ITMS for Assessing Selected Prescription and Illicit Drugs in Treated Sewage Effluents," Archives Environ Cont Toxicol, 2004, 47(4), 427-439. These chemical stressors had not been measured before in the environment. In 2006, this publication received the Agency's Scientific and Technological Achievement Award (STAA), level III. Also published was the first report of the detection of illicit drugs in biosolids (Jones-Lepp and Stevens “Pharmaceuticals and personal care products in biosolids/sewage sludge: the interface between analytical chemistry and regulation,” invited submission for special issue of Anal Bioanal Chem 2007, 387, 1173-1183).
IMPACT OF CONTRIBUTIONS ON SCIENTIFIC/REGULATED COMMUNITY: The use of thermospray LC/MS/MS is an integral part of SW-846 Method 8321 for nonvolatile pollutants. This method, which is chiefly applicable to the detection of dyes and nonvolatile pesticides (e.g., organophosphorus pesticides, chlorinated herbicides, tris-BP), enables the Agency to confirm the presence of these nonvolatile compounds. She converted her new approach for determining organotins from a research application into a new EPA approved SW-846 method, Method 8323, the Agency’s first-ever approved method using electrospray-mass spectrometry. Also, Ms. Jones- Lepp's organotin research efforts have been used by the Office of Water in support of listing organotins on the draft Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) as published in the Federal Register (Monday, March 2, 1998 Part III Environmental Protection Agency, Announcement of the Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate Listing Notice, vol. 63, no. 40, pg 10282).
EXTERNAL COLLABORATIONS: In the early 1990’s Ms Jones-Lepp collaborated on the development of enhanced thermospray LC/MS for dye and explosives analysis with Dr. Jehuda Yinon, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. She also collaborated with Dr. Milton Lee, Brigham Young University, 5/95-4/98, for the development of "Fast Capillary Electrophoresis/Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometry for Environmental Monitoring"; and collaborated with Dr. Florianne Monnet -Tschudi, Institut de Physiologie, Lausanne, Switzerland, to study the effects of dibutyltin dichloride on developing neural cells in fetal rats.
Current collaborative efforts center on developing a rapid and definitive chemical indicator test for human waste in source waters with EPA’s Region 1 through a RARE/RMI grant; discovering the relevance of the fate and transport of pharmaceuticals in the environment and extrapolating the environmental data to the resultant exposure to humans and aquatic organisms through collaborative efforts with Dr. Charles Sanchez, University of Arizona-Yuma Agricultural Field Station Director; Dr. David Alvarez, USGS-Columbia Environmental Research Center; Dr. Bommanna Loganathan, Murray State University, Kentucky, and Dr. Doyle Wilson, City of Lake Havasu, AZ; and collaborating with EPA colleagues at NHEERL and NERL, and the USGS (Dr. David Alvarez) to study the toxicological effects in fish, as well as the fate and distribution of aromatase inhibitors (i.e., tamoxifen, levotrozole, and anastrozole) in the environment.
EDUCATION: B.S. degree in Chemistry, 1982, University of Nevada-Las Vegas. M.Sc. degree in Environmental Analytical Chemistry. Thesis: A Study of Fluorinated Organic Tracers in Alkaline Groundwaters.
February 1987 - present: Research Chemist, U.S. EPA, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Environmental Sciences Division, Las Vegas, Nevada.
December 1982 - February 1987: Chemist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 9 - Laboratory Support Section.
ANCILLARY AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES: Current (2009-present) workgroup member for OPPTs Emerging Contaminants Committee. Advisory ORD member for EPA’s OW’s UC3MR workgroup and OSWER’s SW-846 methods workgroup. Active participant in environmental educational outreach programs to local area schools and at-risk children, including Earth Day and the annual American Chemical Society Chemistry Week observations in October of each year.
PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES/ACTIVITIES/OFFICES: American Chemical Society.
SIGNIFICANT AWARDS: Awarded two Scientific and Technological Achievement Awards (STAA) 2008 (Honorable Mention) for the journal articles: “Pharmaceuticals and personal care products in biosolids/sewage sludge: the interface between analytical chemistry and regulation”, and; “Chemical markers of human waste contamination: Analysis of urobilin and pharmaceuticals in source waters” -
2006 STAA (level iii) for developing new technologies for discovering emerging contaminants in the Nation’s water supply· 2000 EPA/ACS Science Achievement Award (SAA) for Chemistry. 1995 Arthur S. Flemming Award - scientific category· 1990 STAA (level III award): "Analysis of Organophosphorus Pesticide Samples by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography /Mass Spectrometry and High Performance Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry". 1991 U.S. EPA Bronze Medal · For environmental educational community outreach to at-risk children.
PUBLICATIONS: Over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Selected recent publications/books:
JONES-LEPP, T. L., C. A. Sanchez, T. Moy, AND R. Kazemi. Method Development and Application to Determine Potential Plant Uptake of Antibiotics and Other Drugs in Irrigated Crop Production Systems. JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND FOOD CHEMISTRY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 58(22):11568-11573, (2011). PUBLISHED 3/17/11.
Jones-Lepp TL 2010 "Development, and Ground Truthing, of Analytical Tools for Measuring Select Emerging Contaminants (ECs) in a Subset of Biosolids Collected During OW’s 2006 – 2007 National Biosolids Survey Project (PDF)" [44 pp, 1.54MB] US EPA Report EPA/600/R-10/108, Las Vegas, NV.
Jones-Lepp TL, Sanchez CA, Kazemi R, Moy, T 2010 "Method development and application to determine potential plant uptake of antibiotics and other drugs in irrigated crop production systems," accepted for publication on 09/29/10, J. Agr. Food Chem.
Jones-Lepp TL, Alvarez DA, Loganathan B 2010 “A review: On the frontier, analytical chemistry and the occurrence of illicit drugs into surface waters in the USA,” In: Illicit Drugs in the Environment: Occurrence, Analysis, and Fate, using Mass Spectrometry, Castiglioni S, and Zuccato E (2010) (eds), John Wiley and Sons, invited, in press.
Alvarez DA, Jones-Lepp TL 2010 “Sampling and analysis of emerging pollutants,” In: Water Quality Concepts, Sampling, and Analysis, Li Y, Migliaccio K (2010) (eds), CRC Press invited, in press.
Jones-Lepp TL, Alvarez DA, Englert B, and Batt AL. "Pharmaceuticals and Hormones in the Environment (PDF)." [59 pp, 940K About PDF] in Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, Meyers RA, Ed., John Wiley and Sons; 2009.
Loganathan B, Phillips M, Mowery H, Jones-Lepp TL, “Contamination profiles and mass loadings of select macrolide antibiotics and illicit drugs from a small urban wastewater treatment plant (PDF), [33 pp, 300K About PDF] Chemosphere 75, 70–77, 2009.
Alvarez, DA, JN Huckins, JD Petty, TL Jones-Lepp, F Stuer-Lauridsen, DT Getting, JP Goddard, A Gravell "Tool for Monitoring Hydrophilic Contaminants in Water: Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Sampler (POCIS)," R. Greenwood, G. Mills, B. Vrana (ed.), Passive Sampling Techniques. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Holland, 48:171-197 2007
Jones-Lepp TL, Varner KE, Heggem D "Monitoring dibutyltin and triphenyltin in fresh waters and fish in the United States using micro-liquid chromatography-electrospray/ion trap mass spectrometry," Archives Environ Cont Toxicol, 46(1), 90-95, 2004
Daughton, CG; Jones-Lepp TL (eds.) "Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Scientific and Regulatory Issues", Symposium Series 791; American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C., 2001, 416 pp.
Daughton, C.G.; Jones-Lepp, TL. "Preface," in Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Scientific and Regulatory Issues, Daughton, C.G. and Jones-Lepp, T. (eds.), Symposium Series 791; American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C., 2001.
Jones-Lepp TL, Gerlach, C.L., Cooter, E.J., "Pilot Field Study Tests Power of Analytical Methods for Measuring Suspected Endocrine Disrupting Compounds," Trends Anal. Chem., 2000, 19(0), 1-6.
Keith, L.H., Jones-Lepp TL, Needham, L.L., (eds.) Analysis of Environmental Endocrine Disruptors, Symposium Series 747; American Chemical Society: Washington D.C., 2000.
Jones-Lepp TL, Sanchez C, A case study: Crop (lettuce, spinach, and carrots) uptake of three macrolide antibiotics (azithromycin, clindamycin and roxithromycin) and other drugs(PDF) [1 pp, 1.8MB About PDF], 6th International Micropol and Ecohazard 2009, June 8-10, 2009, San Francisco, CA
Sanchez C, Jones-Lepp TL, “Pharmaceuticals in waste streams and surface waters of the colorado river basin,” Lake Mead Science Symposium, January 13 - 14, 2009 Las Vegas, NV
Alvarez D, Jones-Lepp TL, “Wastewater to Drinking Water: Are emerging contaminants making it through?” Lake Mead Science Symposium, January 13 - 14, 2009 Las Vegas, NV
Wilson D, Jones-Lepp TL, “Low-Level Emerging Contaminants in Lake Havasu, Arizona and California and their access to Lake Havasu City’s drinking water supply” Lake Mead Science Symposium, January 13 - 14, 2009 Las Vegas, NV
Jones-Lepp TL, Sanchez C, Wilson D “Tracing the sources of macrolide antibiotics and illicit drugs into the Lower Colorado River Basin (PDF)" [1 pp, 5.86MB About PDF], 42nd American Chemical Society Western Regional Meeting, September 23-27, 2008, Las Vegas, NV
Jones-Lepp TL “Pharmaceuticals as environmental pollutants: Issues regarding analysis, [1 pp, 5.86MB About PDF]” American Society of Mass Spectrometry, Denver, CO, June 1-5, 2008 (oral presentation, invited)
Jones-Lepp TL "Developing methods for emerging contaminants in biosolids," Pacific Organic Residuals Conference, UC Davis, Sept 25-27, 2007 (oral presentation invited)
Jones-Lepp TL "Meeting today's emerging contaminants with tomorrow's research tools," Water Reuse and Treatment II conference, Feb. 11-16, 2007, Tomar, Portugal (oral presentation invited)
Jones-Lepp TL, and D. A. Alvarez. “Advanced Tools for Assessing Selected Prescription and Illicit Drugs in Treated Sewage Effluents and Source Waters”, Presented at Pharmaceuticals in the Environment, Las Vegas, NV, August 23 - 25, 2005
Jones-Lepp TL, Alvarez DA, Casey CR, Petty JD "Monitoring of waterways for emerging contaminants using integrative sampling coupled with liquid chromatography -electrospray/mass spectrometry" CA -NV AWWA (American Waste Water Association), 16 April, 2004, Las Vegas, NV (invited)
Jones-Lepp TL "A new SW-846 method: Micro-liquid chromatography-electrospray/ion trap mass spectrometry as applied to the detection and identification of organotins - Method 8323." Oral Presentation for NEMC (National Environmental Monitoring Conference)meeting (formerly the WTQA), July (21 - 24) 2003, Crystal City, VA (invited)
Jones-Lepp TL "Unique Environmental Chemistry Solutions to Superfund Problems," oral presentation for NIEHS, June 11, 2003 (web-based) (invited)
Jones-Lepp TL; Alvarez, D.A.; Petty, J.D.; Osemwengie, L.I.; Daughton, C.G. "Analytical Chemistry for Mapping Trends of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Product Pollution from Personal Use: Some Current Research and Future Needs," 2001. http://www.epa.gov/nerlesd1/chemistry/pharma/index.htm. (Presented at 10th Annual Symposium on Handling of Environmental and Biological Samples, Wiesbaden, Germany), NERL-LV 01-058, 10 September 2001.