Main content area

Development and validation of a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the simultaneous determination of 17 traditional and emerging aryl organophosphate esters in indoor dust

Du, Bibai, Zhang, Yun, Chen, Hui, Shen, Mingjie, Zhou, Wei, Zeng, Lixi
Journal of chromatography 2019 v.1603 pp. 199-207
dust, esters, liquid chromatography, organophosphorus compounds, phosphates, pollutants, quantitative analysis, tandem mass spectrometry, China
Aryl organophosphate esters (aryl-OPEs) have gained increasing interest over the past few years since a growing number of emerging aryl-OPEs were identified in the environmental media. The currently available analytical methods for aryl-OPEs are usually tailored to detect a very limited number of aryl-OPEs and have inadequate sensitivity for several emerging aryl-OPEs. In this work, a comprehensive and sensitive method for the quantitative analysis of 17 aryl-OPEs in indoor dust samples by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) was developed and validated. The method allows for the determination of four traditional and thirteen emerging aryl-OPEs, which compose almost all the environmentally relevant aryl-OPEs that have been identified. For the first time, 2-isopropylphenyl diphenyl phosphate (2IPPDPP), 2,4-diisopropylphenyl diphenyl phosphate (24DIPPDPP), bis(2-isopropylphenyl) phenyl phosphate (B2IPPPP), bis(4-tert-butylphenyl) phenyl phosphate (B4tBPPP), and 2-naphthalenyl phosphate (NDPHP) were analyzed using LC–MS/MS. With a systematic optimization of the MS/MS parameters, chromatographic separation conditions, and sample preparation procedures, the target aryl-OPEs in the indoor dust were well separated within 13 min in one analytical run, with limits of quantification ranging from 0.09 to 3.2 ng g−1. Compared with the previously published methods, this method obtained a better sensitivity for most aryl-OPEs. The validated method was applied to 12 indoor dust samples that were collected from residential houses in Guangzhou, China. Both the traditional and emerging aryl-OPEs were frequently detected in the samples, except for NDPHP, with ∑aryl-OPEs ranging from 90 to 33,800 ng g−1. In particular, elevated concentrations of the newly identified tris(2,4-di-tert-butylphenyl) phosphate (AO168 = O) were observed in all the indoor dust samples. To our knowledge, these are the first reported data of AO168 = O levels in the environment media from China. These data indicate that AO168 = O is a ubiquitous pollutant that was previously overlooked and merits further investigation in the environment.