Journal of AOAC International

Novel chromatographic separation and carbon solid-phase extraction of acetanilide herbicide degradation products.

PMID 12477196


One acetamide and 5 acetanilide herbicides are currently registered for use in the United States. Over the past several years, ethanesulfonic acid (ESA) and oxanilic acid (OA) degradation products of these acetanilide/acetamide herbicides have been found in U.S. ground waters and surface waters. Alachlor ESA and other acetanilide degradation products are listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 1998 Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List. Consequently, EPA is interested in obtaining national occurrence data for these contaminants in drinking water. EPA currently does not have a method for determining these acetanilide degradation products in drinking water; therefore, a research method is being developed using liquid chromatography/negative ion electrospray/mass spectrometry with solid-phase extraction (SPE). A novel chromatographic separation of the acetochlor/alachlor ESA and OA structural isomers was developed which uses an ammonium acetate-methanol gradient combined with heating the analytical column to 70 degrees C. Twelve acetanilide degradates were extracted by SPE from 100 mL water samples using carbon cartridges with mean recoveries >90% and relative standard deviations < or =16%.