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J Chromatogr A. 2009 Apr 3;1216(14):2958-69. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2008.09.041. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Multi-residue analytical method for the determination of emerging pollutants in water by solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of A Coruña, Campus A Zapateira S.N., 15071 A Coruña, Spain.


This paper describes the development and validation of a method for the simultaneous determination of 53 multi-class emerging organic pollutants in water samples using solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), using electrospray ionisation (ESI) in both positive and negative modes. Target compounds include acidic herbicides, UV filters, insect repellents, organophosphorous flame retardants, a bactericide, pharmaceuticals and metabolites. A single SPE consisting on the loading of 200-500 mL of sample adjusted to pH 7 on Oasis HLB 200mg cartridges and elution with methanol, permitted obtaining good recoveries: higher than 60% for tap, surface and wastewater in most cases. The 7 isotopically labelled internal standards effectively compensated losses during sample preparation and matrix effects at LC-MS/MS determination. The precision of the method, calculated as relative standard deviation (RSD) was below 15% for all compounds and all tested matrices. Detection limits (LODs) based on the confirmation, less intense, MRM (multiple reaction monitoring) transition and considering blanks varied between 0.3 and 30 ngL(-1). Finally, the developed method was applied to the determination of target analytes in various samples, including tap, surface and waste water. Among the tested emerging pollutants, 31 were found in wastewater in concentrations reaching up to 10 microgL(-1) in the case of ibuprofen. Also, 13 species were detected in tap water with concentrations up to 0.13 microgL(-1) for tri(chloropropyl) phosphate (TCPP).

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