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Talanta. 2013 Sep 15;113:82-92. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2013.03.072. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Simultaneous determination of PPCPs, EDCs, and artificial sweeteners in environmental water samples using a single-step SPE coupled with HPLC-MS/MS and isotope dilution.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore, 1 Engineering Drive 2, E1A-02-19, Singapore 117576, Singapore.


A high-throughput method for the simultaneous determination of 24 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and artificial sweeteners (ASs) was developed. The method was based on a single-step solid phase extraction (SPE) coupled with high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) and isotope dilution. In this study, a single-step SPE procedure was optimized for simultaneous extraction of all target analytes. Good recoveries (≥ 70%) were observed for all target analytes when extraction was performed using Chromabond(®) HR-X (500 mg, 6 mL) cartridges under acidic condition (pH 2). HPLC-MS/MS parameters were optimized for the simultaneous analysis of 24 PPCPs, EDCs and ASs in a single injection. Quantification was performed by using 13 isotopically labeled internal standards (ILIS), which allows correcting efficiently the loss of the analytes during SPE procedure, matrix effects during HPLC-MS/MS and fluctuation in MS/MS signal intensity due to instrument. Method quantification limit (MQL) for most of the target analytes was below 10 ng/L in all water samples. The method was successfully applied for the simultaneous determination of PPCPs, EDCs and ASs in raw wastewater, surface water and groundwater samples collected in a local catchment area in Singapore. In conclusion, the developed method provided a valuable tool for investigating the occurrence, behavior, transport, and the fate of PPCPs, EDCs and ASs in the aquatic environment.

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