Detecting a wide range of environmental contaminants in human blood samples—combining QuEChERS with LC-MS and GC-MS methods
- 1.3k Downloads
Exposure to environmental pollution and consumer products may result in an uptake of chemicals into human tissues. Several studies have reported the presence of diverse environmental contaminants in human blood samples. However, previously developed multi-target methods for the analysis of human blood include a fairly limited amount of compounds stemming from one or two related compound groups. Thus, the sample preparation method QuEChERS (quick easy cheap effective rugged and safe) was tested for the extraction of 64 analytes covering a broad compound domain followed by detection using liquid and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC- and GC-MS). Forty-seven analytes showed absolute recoveries above 70 % in the first QuEChERS step, being a simple liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) using acetonitrile and salt. The second QuEChERS step, being a dispersive solid phase extraction, did not result in an overall improvement of recoveries or removal of background signals. Using solely the LLE step, eight analytes could subsequently be detected in human blood samples from the German Environmental Specimen Bank. Using a LC-multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) method with a triple quadrupole instrument, better recoveries were achieved than with an older LC-high-resolution (HR) MS full scan orbitrap instrument, which required a higher concentration factor of the extracts. However, the application of HRMS full scan methods could be used for the detection of additional compounds retrospectively.
KeywordsMulti-target screening Environmental pollutants Human blood QuEChERS LC-MS GC-MS
We thank the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) for financial support (project number: 3710622202) and Kerstin Becker, Alexander Wuertz and Christa Schröter-Kermani for the excellent collaboration. A free academic licence for Marvin, the Calculator Plugins and JChem for Excel was kindly provided by ChemAxon (Budapest, Hungary).
- 5.ECHA. http://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach/registration/registration-statistics. Accessed 09.02.2015
- 7.Asimakopoulos AG, Wang L, Thomaidis NS, Kannan K (2014) A multi-class bioanalytical methodology for the determination of bisphenol A diglycidyl ethers, p-hydroxybenzoic acid esters, benzophenone-type ultraviolet filters, triclosan, and triclocarban in human urine by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A 1324:141–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 10.Foods of plant origin. Determination of pesticide residues using GC-MS and/or LC-MS/MS following acetonitrile extraction/partitioning and clean-up by dispersive SPE. QuEChERS-method (2008). BS EN 15662:2008.Google Scholar
- 14.Plassmann MM, Brack W, Krauss M (2015) Extending analysis of environmental pollutants in human urine towards screening for suspected compounds. ACCEPTED, J Chromatogr AGoogle Scholar
- 17.Anastassiades M, Lehotay SJ, Stajnbaher D, Schenck FJ (2003) Fast and easy multiresidue method employing acetonitrile extraction/partitioning and dispersive solid-phase extraction for the determination of pesticide residues in produce. J AOAC Int 86(2):412–431Google Scholar
- 18.Lehotay SJ, Mastovska K, Lightfield AR (2005) Use of buffering and other means to improve results of problematic pesticides in a fast and easy method for residue analysis of fruits and vegetables. J AOAC Int 88(2):615–629Google Scholar
- 21.Abdallah MA-E, Harrad S, Covaci A (2009) Isotope dilution method for determination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers using liquid chromatography coupled to negative ionization atmospheric pressure photoionization tandem mass spectrometry: validation and application to house dust. Anal Chem 81(17):7460–7467CrossRefGoogle Scholar