Journal of chromatography. A

Development of a stir bar sorptive extraction and thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method for determining synthetic musks in water samples.

PMID 21130460


This study presents the development of an analytical method for determining 9 synthetic musks in water matrices. The developed method is based on stir bar sorptive extraction (SBSE), coated with polydimethylsiloxane, and coupled with a thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry system (TD-GC-MS). SBSE can efficiently trap and desorb the analytes providing low limits of detection (between 0.02 ng L⁻¹ and 0.3 ng L⁻¹). Method validation showed good linearity, repeatability and reproducibility for all compounds. Furthermore, the limited manipulation of the sample required in this method implies a significant decrease of the risk of external contamination of the samples. The performance of the method in real samples was evaluated by analysing biological wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influent and effluent samples, reverse osmosis treatment plant effluents and river waters. The most abundant musk was galaxolide with values up to 2069 ng L⁻¹ and 1432 ng L⁻¹ in the influent and effluent of urban WWTP samples, respectively. Cashmeran, Pantolide and Tonalide were also detected in all the matrices with values up to 94 ng L⁻¹, 26 ng L⁻¹ and 88 ng L⁻¹, respectively. Although in Europe the use of nitromusks in cosmetics is prohibited, musk xylene and musk ketone were detected both in the WWTP and in the river samples. As far as we know, this is the first time than a SBSE method coupled with TD is applied for the determination of synthetic musks in water samples.