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Environmental analysis of fluorinated alkyl substances by liquid chromatography-(tandem) mass spectrometry: a review

Villagrasa, Marta, López de Alda, Maria, Barceló, Damià
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2006 v.386 no.4 pp. 953-972
detection limit, environmental assessment, humans, industry, liquid chromatography, perfluorocarbons, polymers, sediments, sludge, surfactants, tandem mass spectrometry, toxicity
Fluorinated alkyl substances (FASs) are widely distributed contaminants that have been found in many environmental, human and biological samples throughout the world. Perfluorochemicals are used in many industry and consumer products, such as polymers and surfactants, because they have unique and useful properties (they are stable, chemically inert and generally unreactive). However, these compounds have also been found to be toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. In recent years various analytical methods have been developed for the analysis of FASs in environmental samples. Most of these methods are based on liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS) or tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), since this is considered to be the technique of choice. This article reviews the various LC-(tandem)MS methods described so far for the analysis of FASs in water, sediment, sludge and biota samples. It discusses the main experimental conditions used for sample pretreatment and for analysis as well as the most relevant problems encountered and the limits of detection achieved.