Analysis of endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products in water using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2003 Nov 15;75(22):6265-74. doi: 10.1021/ac034210g.


A method has been developed for the trace analysis of 27 compounds from a diverse group of pharmaceuticals, steroids, pesticides, and personal care products. The method employs solid-phase extraction (SPE) and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS), using electrospray ionization (ESI) in both positive and negative modes and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization in positive mode. Unlike many previous methods, a single SPE procedure using 1 L of water coupled to a simple LC method is used for all ionization modes. Instrument detection limits for most compounds were below 1.0 pg on column with reporting limits of 1.0 ng/L in water. Recoveries for most compounds in deionized water were greater than 80%. Sulfuric acid was found to be the preferred sample preservative, and structures of all MS/MS product ions are proposed. Matrix effects from waters with a high content of treated municipal effluent were observed in both ESI modes and are discussed in the paper.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hygiene
  • Nevada
  • Pesticides / analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / analysis*
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical
  • Reference Standards
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Steroids / analysis
  • Sulfuric Acids
  • Water / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants / analysis*


  • Pesticides
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical
  • Steroids
  • Sulfuric Acids
  • Water Pollutants
  • Water
  • Formaldehyde
  • sulfuric acid