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Anal Chem. 2008 May 1;80(9):3445-9. doi: 10.1021/ac8000435. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

Organochlorine pesticides by LC-MS.

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  • 1Istituto di Scienze Chimiche F. Bruner, Universit√† di Urbino Carlo Bo, Piazza Rinascimento 6, 61029 Urbino, Italy.


Contamination of water resources by organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) continues to receive widespread attention because of the increasing concern regarding their high persistence and bioaccumulation. These organic pollutants are not amenable by liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to atmospheric pressure ionization-mass spectrometry, which represents the method of choice for the characterization of pesticide residues in water. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry provides excellent response for OCPs, but it falls short when complex, multiresidue analyses are required. As recently demonstrated, an efficient EI-based LC-MS interface can generate very good spectra for an extremely wide range of small-medium molecular weight molecules of different polarity and can represent a valid tool in solving the analytical challenge of analyzing OCPs by LC-MS. Based on this assumption, we present a new approach for the determination of 12 OCPs in water samples. The method requires a solid-phase extraction preconcentration step followed by nanoscale liquid chromatography coupled to a direct-electron ionization direct interface (Direct-EI). Direct-EI is a miniaturized interface for efficiently coupling a liquid chromatograph with an EI mass spectrometer. The capability to acquire high-quality EI spectra in a wide range of concentrations, and to operate in selected ion monitoring mode during analyses, allowed a precise quantification of the OCPs. Without sample injection enrichment, limits of detection of the method span from 0.044 to 0.33 microg/L, corresponding to an instrumental detection limit of 120-850 pg. In addition, a careful evaluation of the matrix effect showed that the response of the Direct-EI interface was never affected by sample interferences. From our knowledge, the proposed method represents the first application of LC-MS in the analysis of organochlorine pesticides.

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