Analysis of primary aromatic amines in the mainstream waterpipe smoke using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry

J Chromatogr A. 2011 Aug 19;1218(33):5628-37. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2011.06.072. Epub 2011 Jun 26.


In recent years waterpipe smoking has spread worldwide and emerged as global health issue. Yet only little is known on the composition of waterpipe smoke. Here, we present a study on the identification and quantification of primary aromatic amines (PAAs) in this complex environmental matrix. Smoking of the waterpipe was conducted with a smoking machine and particulate matter was collected on glass fiber pads. We developed a fast, simple and specific liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) approach to simultaneously detect 31 different PAAs in this matrix. The detection limits comprised a range of 0.45-4.50 ng per smoking session, represented by 2-aminobiphenyl and 3,4,5-trichloroaniline, respectively. Intra- and inter-day precision were determined and proved excellent. We detected 31.3 ± 2.2 ng aniline and 28.0 ± 1.6 ng 4,4'-oxydianiline in the smoke of one waterpipe session. The water in the bowl exerted a small but considerable filter effect on PAAs. The method worked-out showed excellent sensitivity and specificity and is thus highly suited for the determination of PAAs in mainstream waterpipe smoke.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amines / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Smoke / analysis*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Tobacco / chemistry*


  • Amines
  • Smoke