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Accurate mass screening and identification of emerging contaminants in environmental samples by liquid chromatography-hybrid linear ion trap Orbitrap mass spectrometry

Reputable Mentor II
Reputable Mentor II
Hogenboom AC, van Leerdam JA, de Voogt P.
J Chromatogr A. 2009 Jan 16;1216(3):510-9.
The European Reach legislation will possibly drive producers to develop newly designed chemicals that will be less persistent, bioaccumulative or toxic. If this innovation leads to an increased use of more hydrophilic chemicals it may result in higher mobilities of chemicals in the aqueous environment. As a result, the drinking water companies may face stronger demands on removal processes as the hydrophilic compounds inherently are more difficult to remove. Monitoring efforts will also experience a shift in focus to more water-soluble compounds. Screening source waters on the presence of (emerging) contaminants is an essential step in the control of the water cycle from source to tap water. In this article, some of our experiences are presented with the hybrid linear ion trap (LTQ) FT Orbitrap mass spectrometer, in the area of chemical water analysis. A two-pronged strategy in mass spectrometric research was employed: (i) exploring effluent, surface, ground- and drinking-water samples searching for accurate masses corresponding to target compounds (and their product ions) known from, e.g. priority lists or the scientific literature and (ii) full-scan screening of water samples in search of 'unknown' or unexpected masses, followed by MS(n) experiments to elucidate the structure of the unknowns. Applications of both approaches to emerging water contaminants are presented and discussed. Results are presented for target analysis search for pharmaceuticals, benzotriazoles, illicit drugs and for the identification of unknown compounds in a groundwater sample and in a polar extract of a landfill soil sample (a toxicity identification evaluation bioassay sample). The applications of accurate mass screening and identification described in this article demonstrate that the LC-LTQ FT Orbitrap MS is well equipped to meet the challenges posed by newly emerging polar contaminants.
Kiwa Water Research, Chemical Water Quality and Health, P.O. Box 1072, Nieuwegein 3430 BB, The Netherlands.
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