The occurrence of 70 pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) was investigated in the Tone River. The river has the largest basin in Japan, and the water is utilized not only for farming, but also as a source of water supply. One day in both January and October 2006, surface waters in the river and its tributaries and effluents from sewage treatment plants (STPs) directly discharging into the Tone River were collected, the location of which ranged over 150 km along the river. The 70 PPCPs in the samples were concentrated by solid phase cartridge and were measured by LC-MS/MS using three analytical methods. Fifty-seven PPCPs were detected in one or more samples. Bezafibrate, caffeine, carbamazepine, clarithromycin, crotamiton and sulpiride were frequently detected. Mass flow profiles of some PPCPs (e.g., crotamiton) were comparable to cumulative inhabitants in the basin, suggesting that these PPCPs could be markers of population. Total load of each PPCP into the basin from upstream, the tributaries, and the STPs were calculated. The contribution of selected PPCPs from the tributaries with lower sewerage system coverage was dominant compared to those from upstream and the STPs, suggesting the installation of sewerage systems is necessary to reduce the load of PPCPs in the Tone River basin.

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