Analysis of polyfluoroalkyl substances and bisphenol A in dried blood spots by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry


Dried blood spots (DBS), collected as part of the newborn screening program (NSP) in the USA, is a valuable resource for studies on environmental chemical exposures and associated health outcomes in newborns. Nevertheless, determination of concentrations of environmental chemicals in DBS requires assays with great sensitivity, as the typical volume of blood available on a DBS with 16-mm diameter disc is approximately 50 μL. In this study, we developed a liquid–liquid extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry method for the detection of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), and bisphenol A (BPA) in DBS. The method was validated for accuracy, precision, and sensitivity, by spiking of target chemicals at different levels on Whatman 903 filter cards, which is used in the collection of DBS by the NSP. Contamination arising from collection, storage, and handling of DBS is an important issue to be considered in the analysis of trace levels of environmental chemicals in DBS. For the evaluation of the magnitude of background contamination, field blanks were prepared from unspotted portions of DBS filter cards collected by the NSP. The method was applied for the measurement of PFOS, PFOA, and BPA in 192 DBS specimens provided by NSP of New York State. PFOS and PFOA were detected in 100 % of the specimens analyzed. The concentrations of PFOS and PFOA measured in DBS were similar to those reported earlier in the whole blood samples of newborns. BPA was also found in 86 % of the specimens at concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 36 ng/mL (excluding two outliers). Further studies are needed to evaluate the sources of BPA exposures and health outcomes in newborns.

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This study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) contract number: HHSN267200700019C to New York State Department of Health.

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Correspondence to Kurunthachalam Kannan.

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Ma, W., Kannan, K., Wu, Q. et al. Analysis of polyfluoroalkyl substances and bisphenol A in dried blood spots by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Anal Bioanal Chem 405, 4127–4138 (2013).

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  • Dried blood spot
  • Newborn screening
  • PFOS
  • PFOA
  • BPA