Rapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM

Determination of polar organophosphorus pesticides in water samples by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry.

PMID 18543372


A method combining hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) was developed for the determination of polar organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs; acephate, methamidophos, monocrotophos, omethoate, oxydemeton-methyl, and vamidothion) in water samples. To extract the polar OPPs and minimize matrix effects from the water sample, an activated carbon cartridge was used for pretreatment. After pretreatment of the water sample, the eluate from the activated carbon cartridge was directly injected into the HILIC/MS/MS system. The OPPs were separated on an Atlantis HILIC silica column by isocratic elution with a mixture of acetonitrile, isopropanol, and ammonium formate buffer as a mobile phase, and they were detected by positive electrospray ionization MS/MS in the selected reaction monitoring mode. The method was validated at 0.05, 0.5, and 5 microg/L levels in water samples, and the recoveries of polar OPPs were between 76.4 and 98.6%. The limits of detection were between 0.13 and 1.0 pg on-column, and the limits of quantification were between 0.43 and 3.4 pg on-column. The method can be applied to the determination of trace amounts of OPPs in environmental water samples.