Journal of chromatography. A

Considerations on ultra trace analysis of carbamates in water samples.

PMID 12830914


A new routine method for the ultra trace analysis of carbamates in water samples is presented, using solid-phase extraction followed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to atmospheric pressure electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (SPE-LC-ESI-MS). Instrumental conditions of LC-ESI-MS in the selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode, showed excellent linear response for the six N-methyl carbamates studied (aldicarb, carbaryl, carbofuran, methomyl, oxamyl and pirimicarb) in the range from 1 to 50 microg/l and a precision having a relative standard deviation below 7.8% was achieved. Instrumental limits of detection of 0.10 microg/l were found for these carbamates, with the exception of methomyl for which 0.50 microg/l was measured. The SPE assays were shown to be easy, fast, very sensitive, requiring a low volume (50 ml) of water sample. For laboratory-spiked water samples having 0.03 and 0.30 microg/l of individual N-methyl carbamates, higher selectivities were achieved in cartridges having octadecylsilica, polystyrene-divinylbenzene and N-vinylpyrrolidane-divinylbenzene as solid phases, for which reasonable average recoveries were obtained. Ten replicates using octadecylsilica SPE cartridges, showed average recoveries between 73.7 and 92.6% with a relative standard deviation lower than 14.7%. The present methodology evidences good robustness, accuracy and precision for monitoring of N-methyl carbamates in water samples, and is shown to be a suitable alternative to replace the currently dedicated analytical systems. The limits of detection for the analysis of N-methyl carbamates in water samples reached in the present methodology (0.5 to 3 ng/l), clearly cover the maximum concentration admissible for pesticides, established by the European Union directive on water quality.

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Oxamyl, PESTANAL®, analytical standard