Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 409, Issue 5, pp 1323–1332 | Cite as

Quantification of three chlorinated dialkyl phosphates, diphenyl phosphate, 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoic acid, and four other organophosphates in human urine by solid phase extraction-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

  • Nayana K. Jayatilaka
  • Paula Restrepo
  • LaTasha Williams
  • Maria Ospina
  • Liza Valentin-Blasini
  • Antonia M. Calafat
Research Paper


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), produced as flame retardants worldwide, have been phased-out in many countries, and chlorinated and non-chlorinated organophosphates and non-PBDE brominated formulations (e.g., Firemaster 550 (FM550)) have entered the consumers’ market. Recent studies show that components of organophosphate esters and FM550 are frequently detected in many products common to human environments. Therefore, urinary metabolites of these compounds can be used as human exposure biomarkers. We developed a method to quantify nine compounds in 0.4 mL urine: diphenyl phosphate (DPhP), bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCPP), bis-(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, bis-2-chloroethyl phosphate, di-p-cresylphosphate, di-o-cresylphosphate (DoCP), di-n-butyl phosphate, dibenzyl phosphate (DBzP), and 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoic acid. The method relies on an enzymatic hydrolysis of urinary conjugates of the target analytes, automated off-line solid phase extraction, reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography separation, and isotope dilution-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry detection. The method is high-throughput (96 samples/day) with detection limits ranging from 0.05 to 0.16 ng mL−1. Spiked recoveries were 90–113 %, and interday imprecision was 2–8 %. We assessed the suitability of the method by analyzing urine samples collected from a convenience sample of adults (n = 76) and from a group of firefighters (n = 146). DPhP (median, 0.89; range, 0.26–5.6 ng mL−1) and BDCPP (median, 0.69; range, 0.31–6.8 ng mL−1) were detected in all of the non-occupationally exposed adult samples and all of the firefighter samples (DPhP [median, 2.9; range, 0.24–28 ng mL−1], BDCPP [median, 3.4; range, 0.30–44 ng mL−1]); DBzP and DoCP were not detected in any samples.


Flame retardant Metabolite Urine Liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nayana K. Jayatilaka
    • 1
  • Paula Restrepo
    • 1
  • LaTasha Williams
    • 1
  • Maria Ospina
    • 1
  • Liza Valentin-Blasini
    • 1
  • Antonia M. Calafat
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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