Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 400, Issue 5, pp 1459–1472 | Cite as

Development of analytical strategies using U-HPLC-MS/MS and LC-ToF-MS for the quantification of micropollutants in marine organisms

  • Klaas Wille
  • Julie A. L. Kiebooms
  • Michiel Claessens
  • Karen Rappé
  • Julie Vanden Bussche
  • Herlinde Noppe
  • Nander Van Praet
  • Eric De Wulf
  • Peter Van Caeter
  • Colin R. Janssen
  • Hubert F. De Brabander
  • Lynn Vanhaecke
Original Paper


Organic micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), and pesticides, are important environmental contaminants. To obtain more information regarding their presence in marine organisms, an increasing demand exists for reliable analytical methods for quantification of these micropollutants in biotic matrices. Therefore, we developed extraction procedures and new analytical methods for the quantification of 14 pesticides, 10 PFCs, and 11 pharmaceuticals in tissue of marine organisms, namely blue mussels (Mytilus edulis). This paper presents these optimized analytical procedures and their application to M. edulis, deployed at five stations in the Belgian coastal zone. The methods consisted of a pressurized liquid extraction and solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by ultra high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry for pharmaceuticals and pesticides, and of a liquid extraction using acetonitrile and SPE, followed by liquid chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry for PFCs. The limits of quantification of the three newly optimized analytical procedures in M. edulis tissue varied between 0.1 and 10 ng g−1, and satisfactory linearities (≥0.98) and recoveries (90–106%) were obtained. Application of these methods to M. edulis revealed the presence of five pharmaceuticals, two PFCs, and seven pesticides at levels up to 490, 5, and 60 ng g−1, respectively. The most prevalent micropollutants were salicylic acid, paracetamol, perfluorooctane sulfonate, chloridazon, and dichlorvos.


Pharmaceuticals Perfluorinated compounds Pesticides Marine organisms Liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry 



Mieke Naessens, Dirk Stockx, Lucie Dossche, and Vera Paltousova are greatly acknowledged for their assistance in the lab. This study is part of the INRAM project ( which is funded by The Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO). Lynn Vanhaecke is a postdoctoral fellow from the Research Foundation—Flanders (Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO)-Vlaanderen).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaas Wille
    • 1
  • Julie A. L. Kiebooms
    • 1
  • Michiel Claessens
    • 2
  • Karen Rappé
    • 3
  • Julie Vanden Bussche
    • 1
  • Herlinde Noppe
    • 1
  • Nander Van Praet
    • 4
  • Eric De Wulf
    • 5
  • Peter Van Caeter
    • 5
  • Colin R. Janssen
    • 2
  • Hubert F. De Brabander
    • 1
  • Lynn Vanhaecke
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Research group of Veterinary Public Health and Zoonoses, Laboratory of Chemical AnalysisGhent UniversityMerelbekeBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic EcologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, Marine Biology SectionGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, Laboratory for Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and ToxicologyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  5. 5.Flemish Environment Agency (FEA), Laboratory for Analysis of Organic MicropollutantsGhentBelgium

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