Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research

Mass spectrometric analytical methods for the determination of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

PMID 15497844


This paper describes a method for the determination of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in waste water. The method involves a SPE-C18 extraction followed by a SPE-silica gel column clean up and elution of the analytes with a mixture of acetone/pentane (2+1). Thereafter derivatisation of the analytes with heptafluorobutyric acid anhydride (HFBA) and analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) with positive electron impact ionisation (EI) or negative chemical ionisation (NCI) using methane as reactant gas was performed. The two different ionisation techniques were compared and the negative chemical ionisation technique proved significant lower limits of detection (LODs) and quantitation (LOQs) than positive electron impact ionisation. Recoveries of the analytes in various spiked waste water samples ranged from 75.4 to 96.9%. The concentrations of the EDCs in feed waste water from three different waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) ranged from non-detectable up to a concentration of 10,305 ng/L for 4-NP and in the corresponding effluent samples from non-detectable to 723 ng/L for BPA.