Analysis of benzalkonium chloride in the effluent from European hospitals by solid-phase extraction and high-performance liquid chromatography with post-column ion-pairing and fluorescence detection

J Chromatogr A. 1997 Jul 11;774(1-2):281-6. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9673(97)00242-2.

Abstract

A highly reproducible and specific method for the analysis of the quaternary ammonium compound, benzalkonium chloride, in effluents from European hospitals is presented. Benzalkonium chloride was extracted with end-capped RP-18 solid-phase cartridges and was selectively eluted. The resulting solution was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). After elution from the analytical column of the HPLC system, 9,10-dimethoxyanthracene-2-sulfonate was added continuously as a fluorescence marker, forming a hydrophobic ion-pair with benzalkonium chloride. The ion-pair was analyzed by fluorescence detection. The method was applied to highly complex effluent samples from different sized European hospitals. The measured concentrations were between 0.05 and 6.03 mg/l. The amounts emitted per bed and year were 4.5-362 g and did not correlate with the size of the hospital. The total amounts were 2.6-909 kg/year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthracenes
  • Benzalkonium Compounds / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods*
  • Disinfectants
  • Europe
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Hospitals*
  • Sewage / analysis*
  • Surface-Active Agents

Substances

  • Anthracenes
  • Benzalkonium Compounds
  • Disinfectants
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Sewage
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • 9,10-dimethoxyanthracene-2-sulfonate