An analytical method for the determination of isoxaflutole and its sequential degradation products, diketonitrile and a benzoic acid analogue, in filtered water with varying matrices was developed by the U.S. Geological Survey Organic Geochemistry Research Group in Lawrence, Kansas. Four different water-sample matrices fortified at 0.02 and 0.10 ug/L (micrograms per liter) are extracted by vacuum manifold solid-phase extraction and analyzed by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry using electrospray ionization in negative-ion mode with multiple-reaction monitoring (MRM). Analytical conditions for mass spectrometry detection are optimized, and quantitation is carried out using the following MRM molecular-hydrogen (precursor) ion and product (p) ion transition pairs: 357.9 (precursor), 78.9 (p), and 277.6 (p) for isoxaflutole and diketonitrile, and 267.0 (precursor), 159.0 (p), and 223.1 (p) for benzoic acid. 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid-d3 is used as the internal standard, and alachlor ethanesulfonic acid-d5 is used as the surrogate standard.
Compound detection limits and reporting levels are calculated using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency procedures. The mean solid-phase extraction recovery values ranged from 104 to 108 percent with relative standard deviation percentages ranging from 4.0 to 10.6 percent. The combined mean percentage concentration normalized to the theoretical spiked concentration of four water matrices analyzed eight times at 0.02 and 0.10 ug/L (seven times for the reagent-water matrix at 0.02 ug/L) ranged from approximately 75 to 101 percent with relative standard deviation percentages ranging from approximately 3 to 26 percent for isoxaflutole, diketonitrile, and benzoic acid. The method detection limit (MDL) for isoxaflutole and diketonitrile is 0.003 ug/L and 0.004 ug/L for benzoic acid. Method reporting levels (MRLs) are 0.011, 0.010, and 0.012 ug/L for isoxaflutole, diketonitrile, and benzoic acid, respectively. On the basis of the calculated MRLs and MDLs and evaluation of the signal-to-noise ratios for each compound, the MRLs and MDLs are set at 0.010 and 0.003 ug/L, respectively, for all three compounds.