Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences

A method for the simultaneous determination of mercapturic acids as biomarkers of exposure to 2-chloroprene and epichlorohydrin in human urine.

PMID 22342446


We developed and validated an analytical method for the simultaneous determination of several chlorine and non-chlorine containing mercapturic acids in urine as specific metabolites of the hazardous chemicals 2-chloroprene and epichlorohydrin. The method involves an online column switching arrangement for online solid phase extraction of the analytes with subsequent analytical separation and detection using LC-MS/MS. The developed method enables for the first time the determination of Cl-MA-I (4-chloro-3-oxobutyl mercapturic acid), Cl-MA-II (4-chloro-3-hydroxybutyl mercapturic acid), Cl-MA-III (3-chloro-2-hydroxy-3-butenyl mercapturic acid) and HOBMA (4-hydroxy-3-oxobutyl mercapturic acid) as potential biomarkers of 2-chloroprene in urine. Additionally, CHPMA (3-chloro-2-hydroxypropyl mercapturic acid) as a specific metabolite of epichlorohydrin in urine and DHBMA (3,4-dihydroxybutyl mercapturic acid) can be determined. The analytical method proved to be both sensitive and reliable with detection limits ranging from 1.4 μg/L (for Cl-MA-III) to 4.2 μg/L (for HOBMA). Intra- and interday imprecision was determined to range from 4.7 to 11.8%. Due to the good accuracy and precision and the low limits of detection the developed method is well suited for application in biomonitoring studies in order to determine occupational exposure to 2-chloroprene and epichlorohydrin.