A multiresidue method using ion-trap gas chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry with or without derivatisation with pentafluorobenzylbromide for the analysis of pesticides in the atmosphere
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- Scheyer, A., Morville, S., Mirabel, P. et al. Anal Bioanal Chem (2005) 381: 1226. doi:10.1007/s00216-005-3060-4
A multiresidue method using gas chromatography coupled to ion-trap tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) was developed for the analysis of 27 pesticides, commonly used in Alsace, in atmospheric samples (particle and gas phases). As pesticides are expected to be present at very low concentrations and in a complex matrix, the analytical method used was both highly selective and sensitive. These two properties were obtained by associating chromatography with ion-trap MS/MS. To develop this method, analysis of electron impact in single MS was first conducted to choose the parent ions of the pesticides studied. Among the 27 pesticides analysed, seven of them require a derivatisation step. This was the case of some ureas (chlorotoluron, diuron and isoproturon), phenoxy acids (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid and mecoprop) and of bromoxynil. The derivatisation was performed with success with pentafluorobenzylbromide. Then, a MS/MS method was optimised by parameters such as the radio frequency storage level and the collision-induced dissociation excitation voltage. Finally, a last step enabled the development of two calibrating programs based on the quantification of daughter ions for the 20 pesticides analysed directly (run 1) and for the seven pesticides which needed derivatisation (run 2). With this analytical procedure, the detection limits varied between 2.5 and 1,250 pg m−3 depending on the compounds studied. This method was tested with success for atmospheric samples collected in Strasbourg (France) during intensive pesticide treatment in 2002.