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Analyst. 2004 Aug;129(8):724-30. Epub 2004 Jul 6.

LC-ESI-MS-MS method for the analysis of tetrabromobisphenol A in sediment and sewage sludge.

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Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER), Universite du Quebec a Rimouski, 310 allee des Ursulines, Rimouski, Quebec, CanadaG5L 3A1.


Tetrabromobisphenol A (4,4'-isopropylidenebis(2,6-dibromophenol), TBBPA) is the most widely used brominated flame retardant in the world. Due to its low water solubility TBBPA released in aquatic ecosystems ultimately accumulates in sediments, but the lack of data on its environmental level and temporal trend in sediment cores precludes establishing if the input of TBBPA is an on-going environmental problem. We developed an analytical method involving HPLC-ESI-MS-MS (ion trap) with detection of the negative pseudo-molecular ion of TBBPA and its fragmentation pattern. Recovery of TBBPA from spiked marine sediment (both lyophilized and wet) and dehydrated sewage sludge was better than 95%. The current detection limit of TBBPA is 60 pg injected and the linearity of the response is at least three orders of magnitude, ranging from 7 ng ml(-1) to 7000 ng ml(-1). The method was also applied to the analysis of urban sewage sludge where TBBPA was detected at a concentration of 300 ng g(-1)(dry weight). With an analysis time of less than 20 min, this method is adequate for a rapid re-assessment of archived sediment samples avoiding cumbersome derivatization procedures.

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