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Talanta. 2012 May 15;93:383-91. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2012.02.059. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Determination of ten monohydroxylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by liquid-liquid extraction and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.

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Key Laboratory of Ecology and Environmental Science in Guangdong Higher Education, School of Life Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China.


The aim of this study is to develop and validate an analytical method for the quantitation of ten urinary monohydroxylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OH-PAHs) through high pressure liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS/MS). After enzymatic deconjugation, urine samples were extracted by liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and OH-PAHs were analyzed by HPLC/MS/MS operated in negative electrospray ionization (ESI) and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode. LLE was conducted with the solvent mixture of pentane and toluene, which reduced the matrix interferences and enhanced the method sensitivity significantly. Deuterated and (13)C-labeled analogs are used as internal standards. Calibration curves of all target analytes shows favorable linearity within the concentration range of 5.9-15,000.0 ng/L for different OH-PAHs with the regression coefficients above 0.993. The limits of detection (LODs) in pooled urine ranged from 1.72 to 17.47 ng/L, which were much lower than those obtained by a gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry (GC/HRMS) method. The method shows satisfactory accuracy and precision when analyzing three different levels of OH-PAHs spiked in pooled urine. Except for 1-hydroxynaphthalene, recoveries of other OH-PAHs were in the range of 100 ± 20% with a variation coefficient of less than 13%. The measurement of OH-PAHs from a QC sample of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) generated results close to the values measured by CDC. This method has been successfully employed in the California Biomonitoring Program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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