A fully automated method consisting of microextraction by packed sorbent (MEPS) coupled directly to programmed temperature vaporizer-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (PTV-GC-MS) has been developed to determine the 12 chlorobenzene congeners (chlorobenzene; 1,2-, 1,3-, and 1,4-dichlorobenzene; 1,2,3-, 1,2,4-, and 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene; 1,2,3,4-, 1,2,3,5-, and 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene; pentachlorobenzene; and hexachlorobenzene) in water samples. The effects of the variables on MEPS extraction, using a C18 sorbent, and the instrumental PTV conditions were studied. The internal standard 1,4-dichlorobenzene d4 was used as a surrogate. The proposed method afforded good reproducibility, with relative standard deviations (RSD %) lower than 12%. The limits of detection varied between 0.0003 μg L(-1) for 1,2,3,4-tetrachlorobenzene and 0.07 μg L(-1) for 1,3- and 1,4-dichlorobenzene, while those of quantification varied between 0.001 μg L(-1) and 0.2 μg L(-1) for the same compounds. Accuracy of the proposed method was confirmed by applying it to the determination of chlorobenzenes in different spiked water samples, including river, reservoir, and effluent wastewater.
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