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LC–MS Analytical Method for Biomonitoring of Aliphatic and Aromatic Low-Molecular-Mass Aldehydes in Human Urine


The aim of this study was to monitor aliphatic and aromatic low-molecular-mass aldehydes (LMMAs) in human urine to obtain a potential way to assess exposure. Aliquots of 12.5 mL of urine samples, diluted 1:1 with 4 mol L−1 hydrochloric acid, were aspirated into a Telos™ ENV μ-SPE column impregnated with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine for the cleanup, derivatization and pre-concentration of the aldehydes. Determination was achieved by LC with a MS detector operating in the SIM mode. The method provided low LODs (90–300 ng L−1) with good precision (the intra- and inter-assay precision, expressed as RSD, ranged from 6.1 to 8.8 % and 7.1 to 9.1 %, respectively). Average recoveries from urine samples, which were spiked with the target analytes at levels of 2.5 and 10 μg L−1, ranged from 95 to 99 %. Only aliphatic LMMAs were found in urine samples from exposed researchers taken after handling these compounds. From the excretion kinetics of aldehydes (half-life times between 0.9 and 1.4 h), it was found that the dosage absorbed was eliminated within ~6 h after exposure.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the subsidy provided by the Spanish Inter-Ministerial Commission of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education and Science under the CTQ2013-42701 and by the Junta de Andalucía under PO9-FQM-4732. European Regional Development Fund also provided additional funding. J.M. Fernández-Molina would also like to acknowledge the Junta de Andalucía for awarding him a predoctoral Grant.

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The authors have declared no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Manuel Silva.

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Fernández-Molina, J.M., Silva, M. LC–MS Analytical Method for Biomonitoring of Aliphatic and Aromatic Low-Molecular-Mass Aldehydes in Human Urine. Chromatographia 78, 203–209 (2015).

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  • LC–MS
  • µ-SPE
  • 2,4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine
  • Urinary aldehydes
  • Excretion kinetics