Structure elucidation of an artifact discharging from rubber-based vial closures by means of gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2006 Dec 1;78(23):8156-61. doi: 10.1021/ac0611723.


The use of vial closures equipped with butyl rubber septa may lead to sample contamination by rubber additives discharging from the septum material. In this study, the structure elucidation of an artifact causing intense signals in gas chromatography/electron capture negative ion mass spectrometry (GC/ECNI-MS) and gas chromatographic analyses with electron capture detection is described. Tentative identification of the leached compound was achieved by employing tandem mass spectrometric techniques both in electron capture negative ion and in electron ionization modes. The artifact could thus be characterized as 2-benzothiazolyl-N,N-dimethyl dithiocarbamate, which is a known vulcanization accelerator for rubber. It is conceivable that the identified compound or related substances are also used in other applications. Therefore, two food-related matrixes were investigated for a possible migration of this compound into foods. During these analyses, the tentatively identified rubber additive was detected in an aqueous extract of a rubber seal ring for canning jars. GC/ECNI-MS provided better sensitivity and selectivity than GC/EI-MS for the determination of the rubber additive and other mercaptobenzothiazole-derived substances.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, Gas / methods*
  • Ions / chemistry
  • Molecular Structure
  • Rubber / analysis*
  • Rubber / chemistry*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Ions
  • Rubber