Development of an analytical method for the targeted screening and multi-residue quantification of environmental contaminants in urine by liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry for evaluation of human exposures.

PMID 26695319


The aim of this study was to develop an analytical method and contribute to the assessment of the Exposome. Thus, a targeted analysis of a wide range of contaminants in contact with humans on daily routines in urine was developed. The method focused on a list of 38 contaminants, including 12 pesticides, one metabolite of pesticide, seven veterinary drugs, five parabens, one UV filter, one plastic additive, two surfactants and nine substances found in different products present in the everyday human environment. These contaminants were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (HPLC-HRMS) with a quadrupole-time-of-flight (QqToF) instrument from a raw urinary matrix. A validation according to the FDA guidelines was employed to evaluate the specificity, linear or quadratic curve fitting, inter- and intra-day precision, accuracy and limits of detection and quantification (LOQ). The developed analysis allows for the quantification of 23 contaminants in the urine samples, with the LOQs ranging between 4.3 ng.mL(-1) and 113.2 ng.mL(-1). This method was applied to 17 urine samples. Among the targeted contaminants, four compounds were detected in samples. One of the contaminants (tributyl phosphate) was detected below the LOQ. The three others (4-hydroxybenzoic acid, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate and O,O-diethyl thiophosphate potassium) were detected but did not fulfill the validation criteria for quantification. Among these four compounds, two of them were found in all samples: tributyl phosphate and the surfactant sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate.