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Extraction and Analysis Methods for the Determination of Pyrethroid Insecticides in Surface Water, Sediments and Biological Tissues at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations


The aim of this study was to develop and validate chemical methods for measuring pyrethroid insecticides at environmentally relevant concentrations in different matrices. The analytes included six synthetic pyrethroids with the highest agricultural and commercial structural uses in California: bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, esfenvalerate/fenvalerate, lambda-cyhalothrin, permethrin, and their corresponding stereoisomers, which includes enantiomers, diastereomers and racemic mixtures. Fortified water samples were extracted for analysis of synthetic pyrethroids using liquid–liquid extraction, while fortified sediment and fish tissue samples were extracted using pressurized fluid extraction followed by gel permeation chromatography (GPC) to remove matrix interferences. A florisil column was used for additional cleanup and fractionation of sediment and tissue extracts. Extracts were analyzed using dual column high resolution gas chromatography with electron capture detection (GC/ECD) and confirmation was obtained with gas chromatography mass spectrometry using a quadrupole ion trap detector in MS-MS mode. Method detection limits (MDLs) have been established for water (1–3 ng/L), sediment (0.5–4 ng/g dry weight) and tissue (1–3 ng/g fresh weight). Mean percent recoveries of fortified blanks and samples ranged from 75 to 115% with relative standard deviation (RSD) values less than 20% for all target compounds.

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Correspondence to A. Mekebri.

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Mekebri, A., Crane, D.B., Blondina, G.J. et al. Extraction and Analysis Methods for the Determination of Pyrethroid Insecticides in Surface Water, Sediments and Biological Tissues at Environmentally Relevant Concentrations. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 80, 455–460 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-008-9382-0

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  • Pyrethroids
  • Insecticides
  • Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium
  • Gas chromatography