Ultra-Sensitive Detection and Quantification of Nitrosamines in Drinking Water Using Triple Quadrupole GC-MS/MS with Advanced Electron Ionization

Poster Presentation

Presented by D. Cardona
Prepared by A. Lamb1, M. José Farré2, S. Insa2, R. Jack3, C. Cojocariu1
1 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, Manor Park, Tudor Rd, Cheshire, Runcorn, WA7 1TA, United Kingdom
2 - Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA), Parc Cientific i Tecnologic de la Universitat de Girona 17003, Girona, , Spain
3 - Thermo Fisher Scientific, 490 Lakeside Drive, Sunnyvale, CA, 94085, United States

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Nitrosamines are emerging drinking water contaminants linked to cancer by either ingestion or inhalation. Due to their toxicity, nitrosamines are considered as priority pollutants and various countries around the world have already introduced maximum acceptable levels such as those highlighted in EPA 521 method for compounds such as NDMA, NDEA, NDPA, NDBA, NPYR and NPIP.
The levels at which nitrosamines are considered toxic in drinking water are very low which means method sensitivity is of highest importance. A further challenge for nitrosamine analysis is selectivity in matrix as these compounds have low molecular weights and fragment easily. Poor selectivity and sensitivity can lead to false positive detection and erroneous quantification of these compounds and this is why gas chromatography (GC) coupled to triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (MS) is adopted over single quadrupole technologies. Current methods utilize SPE fortification coupled with large volume injection (LVI) to achieve the required levels of sensitivity. However, LVI introduces more contamination into the GC-MS/MS system leading to increased frequency of GC consumable changes, instrument maintenance and source cleaning lowering productivity and increasing the cost per sample.
Here the use of a novel AEI high performance electron ionization (EI) source in conjunction with a new triple quadrupole mass spectrometer provides the sensitivity and selectivity to analyze nitrosamines in drinking water at low part per trillion (ppt) levels with low liquid injection volumes. In this work the Thermo Scientific™ TSQ 9000™ GC with Advanced Electron Ionization Source mass spectrometer was evaluated for nitrosamines selectivity, sensitivity, recovery, repeatability and linearity of response.