Application of ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to the determination of multi-class pesticides in environmental and wastewater samples. Study of matrix effects.J Chromatogr A. 2009 Feb 27; 1216(9):1410-20.JC
An ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) method for the determination of 37 pesticides (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides) in environmental and wastewater has been developed. To efficiently combine UHPLC with MS/MS, a fast-acquisition triple quadrupole mass analyzer was used. This analyzer (minimum dwell time, 5 ms) allows acquiring up to three simultaneous transitions in the selected reaction monitoring mode for each compound assuring a reliable identification without resolution or sensitivity losses. A pre-concentration step based on solid-phase extraction using Waters Oasis HLB cartridges (0.2 g) was applied with a 100-fold pre-concentration factor along the whole analytical procedure. The method was validated based on European SANCO guidelines using surface, ground, drinking and treated water (from an urban solid residues treatment plant) spiked at two concentration levels (0.025 and 0.1 microg/L), the lowest having been established as the limit of quantification objective. The method showed excellent sensitivity, with instrumental limits of detection ranging from 0.1 to 7 pg. It was applied to environmental water samples (ground and surface water) as well as to samples of urban solid waste leachates (raw leachate and treated leachate after applying reversed osmosis) collected from a municipal treatment plant. Matrix effects have been studied in the different types of water samples analyzed, and several isotope-labelled internal standards have been evaluated as a way to compensate the signal suppression observed for most of the compounds studied, especially in wastewater samples. As a general remark, only those pesticides which response was corrected using their own isotope-labelled molecule, could be satisfactorily corrected in all type of samples, assuring in this way the accurate quantification in all matrix samples.