Determination of pharmaceuticals and antiseptics in water by solid-phase extraction and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry: Analysis via pentafluorobenzylation and stable isotope dilution

Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218-2686, USA.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (Impact Factor: 3.44). 02/2012; 403(2):583-91. DOI: 10.1007/s00216-012-5846-5
Source: PubMed


A sensitive yet robust analytical method is presented for the simultaneous determination of 12 human pharmaceuticals (valproic acid, phenytoin, ibuprofen, gabapentin, acetaminophen, gemfibrozil, naproxen, ketoprofen, secobarbital, phenobarbital, 5-fluorouracil, and diclofenac) and 6 antiseptics (biosol, biphenylol, p-chloro-m-cresol, p-chloro-m-xylenol, chlorophene, and triclosan). The method employs solid-phase extraction (SPE) followed by a novel pentafluorobenzylation using a mixture of acetontrile/water (1/1, v/v). The method is simple to perform (derivatization can be completed in a single test tube) and eliminates the need for any solvent/SPE cartridge drying or blow-down. It affords excellent resolution, high sensitivity and reproducibility, and freedom from interference even for matrices as complex as untreated sewage. The method was applied to the analysis of sewage samples using 15 isotopically labeled surrogates, which resulted in the detection of 10 of the 12 pharmaceuticals and all of the antiseptics sought. Ten of 15 surrogates were synthesized from pure analytes by a simple H-D exchange reaction employing D(2)O and D(2)SO(4). Measured recoveries were sensitive to matrix effects and varied substantially among analytes, indicative of the limitations associated with using a single surrogate standard.

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