Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 2726–2734 | Cite as

Analysis of airborne pesticides from different chemical classes adsorbed on Radiello® Tenax® passive tubes by thermal-desorption-GC/MS

  • Caroline Raeppel
  • Marie Fabritius
  • Marie Nief
  • Brice M. R. Appenzeller
  • Olivier Briand
  • Ludovic Tuduri
  • Maurice MilletEmail author
Research Article


An analytical methodology using automatic thermal desorption (ATD) and GC/MS was developed for the determination of 28 pesticides of different chemical classes (dichlobenil, carbofuran, trifluralin, clopyralid, carbaryl, flazasulfuron, mecoprop-P, dicamba, 2,4-MCPA, dichlorprop, 2,4-D, triclopyr, cyprodinil, bromoxynil, fluroxypyr, oxadiazon, myclobutanil, buprofezin, picloram, trinexapac-p-ethyl, ioxynil, diflufenican, tebuconazole, bifenthrin, isoxaben, alphacypermethrin, fenoxaprop and tau-fluvalinate) commonly used in nonagricultural areas in atmospheric samples. This methodology was developed to evaluate the indoor and outdoor atmospheric contamination by nonagricultural pesticides. Pesticides were sampled passive sampling tubes containing Tenax® adsorbent. Since most of these pesticides are polar (clopyralid, mecoprop-P, dicamba, 2,4-MCPA, dichlorprop, 2,4-D, triclopyr, bromoxynil, fluroxypyr, picloram, trinexapac-p-ethyl and ioxynil), a derivatisation step is required. For this purpose, a silylation step using N-(t-butyldimethylsilyl)-N-methyltrifluoroacetamide (MtBSTFA) was added before thermal desorption. This agent was chosen since it delivers very specific ions on electronic impact (m/z = M-57). This method was established with special consideration for optimal thermal desorption conditions (desorption temperature, desorb flow and duration; trap heating duration and flow; outlet split), linear ranges, limits of quantification and detection which varied from 0.005 to 10 ng and from 0.001 to 2.5 ng, respectively, for an uncertainty varied from 8 to 30 %. The method was applied in situ to the analysis of passive tubes exposed during herbicide application to an industrial site in east of France.


Nonagricultural pesticides Thermal desorption Silylation GC/MS Passive sampling Tenax® tubes 



The regional research programme “RE.A.LI.SE (REseau Alsacien Laboratoires d’Ingéniérie et Sciences de l’Environnement)”, the “Région Alsace”, the ERICHE programme from CNRS and the “AFSSET now ANSES” are gratefully acknowledged for their financial support. Caroline Raeppel wants to particularly thank the ADEME for their support of a Ph.D. grant.

Supplementary material

11356_2014_3534_MOESM1_ESM.doc (146 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 145 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Raeppel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie Fabritius
    • 1
  • Marie Nief
    • 1
  • Brice M. R. Appenzeller
    • 2
  • Olivier Briand
    • 3
  • Ludovic Tuduri
    • 4
  • Maurice Millet
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Groupe de Physico-Chimie de l’Atmosphère—ICPEES (UMR 7515 CNRS Université de Strasbourg)Strasbourg CEDEXFrance
  2. 2.Laboratory of Analytical Human Biomonitoring—CRP-SantéUniversité du LuxembourgLuxembourgFrance
  3. 3.Ministère de L’agriculture, de l’alimentation, de la Pêche, de la Ruralité et de l’aménagement Du territoireParis CEDEX 07 SPFrance
  4. 4.Laboratoire de Physico- et Toxico-Chimie de l’Environnement (LPTC)–EPOCUMR-5805 CNRS—Université Bordeaux 1Périgueux CEDEXFrance

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