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J Chromatogr A. 2009 Jul 24;1216(30):5619-25. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2009.05.061. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Determination of personal care products in sewage sludge by pressurized liquid extraction and ultra high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Department of Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sescelades Campus, Tarragona 43007, Spain.


This paper describes a method for the determination of a group of personal care products including four UV filters, four preservatives and two antimicrobials in sewage sludge. The method combines pressurized liquid extraction and ultra high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Most of the parameters that affect the extraction step such as temperature, pressure, static extraction time, number of cycles, purge time and flush volume were optimized using a fractional experimental design. In the chromatographic step, the compounds were detected by using tandem mass spectrometry with a triple quadrupole analyzer with electrospray ionization in positive and negative modes. The use of small diameter particles (1.8 microm) in the chromatographic column allowed the compounds to be eluted in 9 min. The entire process took a total of 39 min. All recoveries were higher than 72% except for 2,4-dihydroxybenzophenone (a UV filter), whose recovery was 30%. The repeatability and reproducibility between days expressed as RSD (%) (n=3) were less than 8% and 13%, respectively. The LODs and LOQs were lower than 8 microg/kg and 12.5 microg/kg of dry weight (d.w.), respectively. When the method was applied to determine the compounds in sewage sludge from a domestic sewage treatment plant, triclosan (an antimicrobial) and octocrylene (a UV filter) showed the highest levels, 1490 microg/kg (d.w.) and 1842 microg/kg (d.w.), respectively. This paper describes for the first time the determination of parabens and two UV filters (octyldimethyl-p-aminobenzoic acid and benzophenone-3) in sewage sludge.

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