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Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Airborne Particulate Matter by Gas ChromatographyTriple Quadrupole Tandem Mass Spectrometry

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An accurate and sensitive method for the identification and the quantification of 24 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in airborne particulate matter has been developed and validated using GC/MS/MS with a triple quadrupole analyzer. Ultrasonic extraction (USE) and pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) were evaluated. PLE was selected because it provided better recoveries and reduced treatment time and use of solvents compared to USE. Cleanup of PLE extracts was not necessary. The accuracy of the optimized method was tested using a standard reference material of urban dust (SRM 1649a). PAH recoveries were between 70 and 99 (except for naphthalene, which was lower than 20) with RSDs ranging from 2.6 to 15.3. Linearity in the range 5500 ng/mL provided R2 values higher than 0.99 for all compounds. LODs for PAHs ranged from 0.001 to 0.435 ng/mL and LOQs ranged from 0.003 to 0.757 ng/mL. The proposed method was applied to the analysis of real samples collected in the city of Almera, Spain, where some PAHs were found at levels lower than the legislated limit.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Almera, Department of Analytical Chemistry, 04071 Almera, Spain.

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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