Development of analytical strategies using U-HPLC-MS/MS and LC-ToF-MS for the quantification of micropollutants in marine organisms
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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.
KeywordsPharmaceuticals 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 (http://www.vliz.be/projects/inram) 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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