MCX based solid phase extraction combined with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry for the simultaneous determination of 31 endocrine-disrupting compounds in surface water of Shanghai.

Research paper by Hong-Chang HC Zhang, Xue-jun XJ Yu, Wen-chao WC Yang, Jin-feng JF Peng, Ting T Xu, Da-Qiang DQ Yin, Xia-lin XL Hu

Indexed on: 21 Sep '11Published on: 21 Sep '11Published in: Journal of Chromatography B


A novel analytical method employing MCX (mixed-mode cationic exchange) based solid phase extraction (SPE) coupled with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed to detect 31 endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) in surface water samples simultaneously. The target EDCs belong to five classes, including seven estrogens, eight androgens, six progesterones, five adrenocortical hormones and five industrial compounds. In order to simultaneously concentrate the target EDCs and eliminate matrix interferences in the water samples, MCX SPE cartridges were employed for SPE, and then followed by a simple and highly efficient three-step sequential elution procedure. Two electrospray ionization (ESI) detection modes, positive (ESI+) and (ESI-), were optimized for HPLC-MS/MS analysis to obtain the highest sensitivity for all the EDCs. The limits of detection (LODs) were 0.02-1.9 ng L(-1), which are lower than or comparable to these reported in references. Wide linear ranges (LOD-100 ng L(-1) for ESI+ mode, and LOD-200 ng L(-1) for ESI- mode) were obtained with determination coefficients (R(2)) higher than 0.99 for all the compounds. With five internal standards, good recoveries (84.4-103.0%) of all the target compounds were obtained in selected surface water samples. The developed method was successfully applied to investigate the EDCs occurrence in the surface water of Shanghai by analyzing surface water samples from 11 sites. The results showed that nearly all the target compounds (30 in 31) were present in the surface water samples of Shanghai, of which three industrial compounds (4-t-OP, BPA, and BPF) showed the highest concentrations (median concentrations were 11.88-23.50 ng L(-1)), suggesting that industrial compounds were the dominating EDCs in the surface water of Shanghai, and much more attention should be paid on these compounds. Our present research demonstrated that SPE with MCX cartridges combined with HPLC-MS/MS was convenient, efficient and reliable for multiclass analysis of EDCs in surface water.