Multiresidue methods for the analysis of pharmaceuticals, personal care products and illicit drugs in surface water and wastewater by solid-phase extraction and ultra performance liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry.Anal Bioanal Chem. 2008 Jun; 391(4):1293-308.AB
The main aim of the presented research is to introduce a new technique, ultra performance liquid chromatography-positive/negative electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI/MS/MS), for the development of new simultaneous multiresidue methods (over 50 compounds). These methods were used for the determination of multiple classes of pharmaceuticals (acidic, basic and neutral compounds: analgesic/anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, antiepileptics, beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugs, lipid regulating agents, etc.), personal care products (sunscreen agents, preservatives, disinfectant/antiseptics) and illicit drugs (amphetamine, cocaine and benzoylecgonine) in surface water and wastewater. The usage of the novel UPLC system with a 1.7 microm particle-packed column allowed for good resolution of analytes with the utilisation of low mobile phase flow rates (0.05-0.07 mL min(-1)) and short retention times (method times of up to 25 min), delivering a fast and cost-effective method. SPE with the usage of Oasis MCX strong cation-exchange mixed-mode polymeric sorbent was chosen for sample clean-up and concentration. The influence of mobile phase composition, matrix-assisted ion suppression in ESI-MS and SPE recovery on the sensitivity of the method was extensively studied. The method limits of quantification were at low nanogram per litre levels and ranged from tenths of ng L(-1) to tens of ng L(-1) in surface water and from single ng L(-1) to a few hundreds of ng L(-1) in the case of wastewater. The instrumental and method intraday and interday repeatabilities were on average less than 5%. The method was successfully applied for the determination of pharmaceuticals in the River Taff (South Wales) and a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP Cilfynydd). Several pharmaceuticals and personal care products were determined in river water at levels ranging from single ng L(-1) to single microg L(-1).