A quantitative method for the simultaneous determination of octylphenol, nonylphenol and the corresponding ethoxylates (1 to 5) in biota is presented. Extraction methods were developed for egg and fish matrices based on accelerated solvent extraction followed by a solid-phase extraction cleanup, using octadecylsilica or aminopropyl cartridges. Identification and quantitation were accomplished by liquid chromatography-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) and compared to the traditional liquid chromatography with fluorescence spectroscopy detection. LC-MS-MS provides high sensitivity and specificity required for these complex matrices and an accurate quantitation with the use of 13C-labeled internal standards. Quantitation limits by LC-MS-MS ranged from 4 to 12 ng/g in eggs, and from 6 to 22 ng/g in fish samples. These methods were successfully applied to osprey eggs from the Chesapeake Bay and fish from the Great Lakes area. Total levels found in osprey egg samples were up to 18 ng/g wet mass and as high as 8.2 ug/g wet mass in the fish samples.
Additional publication details
Determination of alkylphenol and alkylphenolethoxylates in biota by liquid chromatography with detection by tandem mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectroscopy