Analysis of BTEX and chlorinated solvents in meconium by headspace-solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry
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Meconium is the earliest stool of newborns, and is a complex matrix that reflects the degree of exposure of the fetus to xenobiotics. To investigate fetal exposure to volatile organic compounds, an analytical method was developed to identify and quantify BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and o,m,p-xylene) and two chlorinated solvents (trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene) in meconium. Headspace-solid-phase microextraction coupled with gas chromatography–mass spectrometry was selected because it is simple, sensitive, can be automated, and requires no extensive sample preparation. Several extraction variables were optimized (fiber type, incubation time, temperature of fiber, and use of salt). Because meconium is a complex matrix, quantification by SPME was considered carefully because of potential interference, for example competitive adsorption. Calibration in water was compared with calibration in meconium using external and internal methods (with isotope-labeled compounds). In meconium, limits of quantification were determined to be in the range 0.064–0.096 ng g−1 for the investigated compounds. All target compounds were determined in “real-case” meconium samples.
KeywordsVOCs Headspace-solid-phase microextraction GC–MS Meconium
The authors thank Dr Loget of the anatomical pathology service of Rennes University Hospital for providing meconium samples. This work was supported by the national Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique (PHRC) 2010 accorded to Rennes University Hospital, and was performed in collaboration with the Brittany Registry of Congenital Malformations, the INSERM-IRSET (Institut de Recherche en Santé, Environnement et Travail) Unities 1085 and 991, the Centre de Ressources Biologiques (CRB) of the Centre d’Investigations Cliniques (CIC) of Rennes University Hospital.
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