Determination of steroid estrogens in wastewater by high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.J Chromatogr A. 2007 Nov 30; 1173(1-2):81-7.JC
This paper discusses the requirement for, and presents an analytical procedure for, the determination of four steroid hormones and a conjugated steroid (estrone-3-sulfate) in wastewaters. The method utilizes LC/MS/MS following solid phase extraction and a two stage clean-up procedure, achieving limits of detection of 0.2 ng l(-1) for estriol, 17beta-estradiol and 17 alpha-ethinylestradiol, and 0.1 ng l(-1) for estrone and the conjugate. The approach demonstrates that using appropriate clean-up and deuterated internal standards, the impact of matrix effects on ionization can be overcome to reliably determine estrogens at environmentally relevant concentrations. The robustness of the method was demonstrated by achieving recoveries of >83% for all steroids in settled sewage and final effluent samples with relative standard deviations of 0.5-12%.