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Development and validation of a fully automated online-SPE–ESI–LC–MS/MS multi-residue method for the determination of different classes of pesticides in drinking, ground and surface water

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The present work describes a fully automated method based on online solid phase extraction–liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry for the determination of different classes of pesticides, including acidic and polar pesticides and six thiamethoxam metabolites. Sample preconcentration was performed by extracting 4 mL of the sample with a single styrene-divinylbenzene polymer. Elution of the compounds was done within the high performance liquid chromatography gradient and tandem mass spectrometry determination was performed in the selected reaction monitoring mode, by recording 1–3 transitions per compound. The overall pretreatment and analysis time per sample was less than 15 min. Method validation was performed in drinking, ground and surface water. For nearly all compounds a recovery between 70% and 120% could be achieved. The limit of detection ranges from 1.2 to 18 ng/L in drinking water and 3.0 to 23 ng/L in ground and surface water. The correlation coefficients for a calibration range of 0.05–2 µg/L are between 0.9915 and 0.9999. The limit of quantification (LOQ) for all compounds lies below the required limit of 0.1 µg/L, to fulfil the Council Directive 98/83/EC. Most of the compounds easily reach an LOQ below 0.05 µg/L.
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Keywords: acidic pesticides; clopyralid; pesticides; polar metabolites; thiamethoxam; water pollution

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Agrobiotechnology (IFA-Tulln), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Tulln, Austria 2: Department of Organic Chemistry, ESW Consulting Wruss, Vienna, Austria

Publication date: March 15, 2016

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