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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2005 Feb;381(3):681-5. Epub 2005 Jan 25.

Determination of N-nitrosodiethanolamine in cosmetic products by LC-MS-MS.

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  • 1Laboratory for Food and Residue Analyses (ARO), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720, BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


We have developed and validated in-house a liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) method for determination of N-nitrosodiethanolamine (NDELA) in cosmetics. The sample is diluted with water and then a C18 clean-up is performed. The average recovery of NDELA is 88.3%, range 48.3-112.7%, and the limit of detection is 22.8 microg kg-1. The repeatability is 7.6%, and the intermediate precision is 8.7%. Surveys were carried out in the Netherlands in September and October 2002 to determine the quantities of NDELA in cosmetics marketed in the Netherlands. The LC-MS-MS method was used to determine the NDELA content of 140 cosmetic products including shower gels, hair oils, shampoos and conditioners, cream and foam baths, mud baths, scrubs, creme and other soaps, and body washes. NDELA at levels ranging from 23 to 992 microg kg-1 was found in 35 cosmetic products.

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