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New approach for the determination of ortho-phenylphenol exposure by measurement of sulfate and glucuronide conjugates in urine using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

Bérubé, René, Bélanger, Patrick, Bienvenu, Jean-François, Dumas, Pierre, Provencher, Gilles, Gaudreau, Éric, Fleury, Normand
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2018 v.410 no.28 pp. 7275-7284
acid hydrolysis, enzymes, humans, liquid chromatography, metabolites, monitoring, o-phenylphenol, phosphoric acid, skin irritation, sulfates, t-test, tandem mass spectrometry, urinalysis, urinary bladder neoplasms, urine
Ortho-phenylphenol (OPP) has been widely used as a fungicide and preservative. Although low-dose studies have demonstrated its low toxicity in animals and humans, high-dose exposure to this contaminant has toxic effects that range from skin irritation to bladder cancer. Thus far, monitoring of OPP exposure in the general population has been performed by measuring OPP after urine hydrolysis with the β-glucuronidase/arylsulfatase enzyme and sometimes by the use of a mineral acid. We developed a sensitive, accurate, and robust method using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to specifically measure two-phase II OPP metabolites excreted in human urine, OPP sulfate (OPP-S), and OPP glucuronide (OPP-G). Comparative analysis of urine samples from 50 volunteers living in the Quebec City area using a direct method and phosphoric acid hydrolysis method previously developed in our laboratory showed no statistically significant difference (p value for paired t test = 0.701) in OPP concentrations. Moreover, a significant difference showed that underestimation (p value for paired t test = 0.025) occurs when β-glucuronidase/arylsulfatase enzyme deconjugation is used. The LOD achieved by the direct method permits the detection of OPP-S and OPP-G metabolites in urine at the submicrogram per liter level. Graphical abstract ᅟ