Simultaneous determination of UV-filters and estrogens in aquatic invertebrates by modified QuEChERS extraction and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry

Academic Research Topics in Environmental Measurement and Monitoring
Oral Presentation

Prepared by K. He1, A. Timm2, L. Blaney1
1 - University of Maryland Baltimore County, Room 332 ECS, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, Maryland, 21250, United States
2 - United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Northern Research Station, 5523 Research Park Drive, Suite 350, Baltimore, Maryland, 21228, United States

Contact Information:; 410-428-6629


UV-filters and estrogens have attracted increased attention as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) due to their widespread occurrence in the environment. These CECs are hydrophobic and have the potential to be accumulated in aquatic organisms through chronic exposure. However, studies on the bioaccumulation of these CECs in different trophic levels are scarce due to limitations in the analysis of complex biological matrices. In this regard, a multi-residue method for simultaneous determination of UV-filters and estrogens in tissue samples has been developed. The procedure involved a modified QuEChERS (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective, Rugged, and Safe) extraction, a novel reverse-solid phase extraction (reverse-SPE) cleanup, and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. The tissue sample mass, acetonitrile content, and salting out conditions for QuEChERS extraction, along with the cartridge material and elution conditions for reverse-SPE, were thoroughly investigated and optimized. UV-filters and estrogens were simultaneously analyzed by taking advantage of wrong-way-round ionization in LC-MS/MS. The optimized analytical protocol exhibited good recoveries (> 80%) for target compounds and enabled determination of analytes at ng/g levels in tissue samples. The method was subsequently applied to determine the concentrations of target analytes in four invertebrates (i.e., Orconectes virilis, Procambarus clarkii, Crassostrea virginica, and Ischadium recurvum) which were either purchased from a scientific supplier or collected from freshwater and seawater sites. All eight target analytes were detected at least once in the tissue samples, with the highest concentration being 399 ng/g homosalate in O. virilis. These results highlighted ubiquitous bioaccumulation of certain CECs in invertebrates and enable greater monitoring of these important contaminant classes in other aquatic organisms.