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Evaluation of four capillary columns for the analysis of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in human serum for epidemiologic studies.

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Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


The separation of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners was evaluated on four capillary columns: 60 m x 0.25 mm i.d., 0.25 microm film thickness RTX-5MS and DB-XLB capillary columns, and 60 m x 0.18 mm i.d., 0.25 microm film thickness DB-XLB and DB-5MS capillary columns. Based on performance, capacity, and cost, the RTX-5MS (60 m x 0.25 mm i.d., 0.25 microm thickness) and the DB-XLB (60 m x 0.25 mm i.d., 0.25 microm film thickness) were selected for the analysis of human serum extracts by using gas chromatography/electron-capture detection. In contrast to previous studies, the oven temperature program affords the separation of congeners that are not separated by using other combinations of capillary columns, most notably PBDE-47 and PCB 180. In addition, the method enables determination of OCPs, PCBs, and PBDEs prevalent in a single extract of serum, which can lead to considerable time savings in the analysis of large number of samples collected for epidemiologic studies.

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