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A practice-oriented method for the analysis of coplanar tetra- to heptachlorinated terphenyls

Wichmann, H., Schäfer, K., Bahadir, M.
Chemosphere 2019 v.224 pp. 195-201
aromatic compounds, combustion, detection limit, ecotoxicology, gas chromatography, lipids, mass spectrometry, sediments, soil
Polychlorinated terphenyls (PCT) were produced and used on industrial scale in the last century. Today, PCT are formed especially during combustion and some chemical conversion processes. As being persistent, low volatile chlorinated aromatics, they are continuously emitted into the environment from primary and secondary sources. Blatant knowledge gaps exist concerning environmental behavior, toxicology, and ecotoxicology of this presumably ubiquitously present substance group because of the non-availability of a generally accepted, practice-oriented, and validated analytical method for the PCT. Here, a novel and easy to conduct analytical method is presented that is applicable to environmental samples. This method is based on a thorough clean-up of the sample extracts, followed by a separation of 29 tetra- to heptachlorinated coplanar reference congeners and their quantification by means of gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. For the validation of the analytical procedure, the parameters selectivity, detection limit, limit of decision, limit of quantification, measuring and method precision, linearity, specifity, and recovery rates were considered. By the method validation, it was demonstrated that this novel procedure for the analysis of PCT in environmental samples like soils/sediments, fats, and combustion residues is fit for purpose.