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Fast multiresidue screening of 300 pesticides in water for human consumption by LC-MS/MS

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The study tested the determination of 300 pesticides in mineral water at levels of 0.1 and 1.0 μg/L. Measurements were conducted by direct sample injection into a liquid chromatograph coupled to a tandem mass spectrometer without any sample enrichment and/or cleanup. Two separate injections enabled the recording of two transitions per analyte (600 selected reaction monitoring transitions in total). For 285 analytes the sensitivity of direct sample injection (100 μL) was sufficient to quantify residues at 0.1 μg/L. All remaining pesticides were detected at 1.0 μg/L. Calibration functions were linear for more than 80% of analytes. Signal suppression or enhancement compared with signals in high-performance liquid chromatography water was equal to or smaller than 20% for 240 analytes. Even the largest matrix-induced suppression did not result in the disappearance of peaks. Combining the results of seven mineral waters, the relative standard deviation of “recovery” was 20% or less for 87% of the substances. A second transition for confirmatory purposes was often available. Consequently, the proposed direct injection of samples without any sample enrichment and/or cleanup is suitable for screening of many pesticides in mineral and drinking water.

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We thank Marilyn Menden and Volker Happel for their important technical assistance throughout this work.

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Correspondence to Kerstin Greulich.

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Greulich, K., Alder, L. Fast multiresidue screening of 300 pesticides in water for human consumption by LC-MS/MS. Anal Bioanal Chem 391, 183–197 (2008).

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