Rapid monitoring of residual UV-stabilizers in seawater samples from beaches using fabric phase sorptive extraction and UHPLC-MS/MS

Chemosphere. 2016 Dec;164:201-207. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.08.102. Epub 2016 Aug 31.


Benzotriazole UV stabilizers (BUVSs) are a group of compounds added to personal care products such as sunscreens, hair dyes, make up formulations, soaps or shampoos, among others. Direct input from beaches or another aquatic recreational areas is the main source of BUVSs incorporation to the environment, where they can be mutagenic, toxic, pseudo-persistent and bioaccumulative. Due to the low levels of concentration of these compounds found in environmental samples, an extraction process is required prior to their determination. Fabric phase sorptive extraction integrates the advanced material properties of sol-gel hybrid inorganic-organic sorbents with flexible, permeable and functionally active fabric substrates, being a highly responsive, efficient and cheap device that also can be reused. In this paper, we applied fabric phase sorptive extraction methodology to analyse six BUVSs in twenty-four seawater samples from different coastal areas of Gran Canaria Island (Spain). It was coupled to ultra high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry in order to achieve a fast, reliable and sensitive separation and determination of the analytes from different simple matrices, regardless of its complexity and composition. Under the optimum conditions, the proposed method provided enrichment factors of 25 times with limits of detection from 1.06 to 8.96 ng L-1 and limits of quantification from 3.54 to 29.9 ng L-1 for the analytes under study in spiked samples. Intra and inter-day relative standard deviations were between 3.97 and 20.8% for all compounds. The application of the optimized methodology to non-spiked seawater samples allows detecting and quantifying the UV 360 in the range from 41.12 to 544.9 ng L-1.

Keywords: Benzotriazole UV stabilizers; Fabric phase sorptive extraction; Mass spectrometry detection; Seawater; Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid*
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Limit of Detection
  • Phase Transition
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Seawater / analysis*
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Spain
  • Sunscreening Agents / chemistry
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Textiles*
  • Triazoles / analysis*
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*


  • Solvents
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Triazoles
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • benzotriazole