Is This the Next Emerging Contaminant of Concern? Analysis of Tire-Degradant 6PPD Quinone in Surface & Drinking Waters

New Organic Monitoring Techniques (Session 2)
Oral Presentation

Prepared by T. Anumol1, R. Hindle2, K. Hunt2
1 - Agilent, 2850 Centerville Rd, wilmington, DE, 19808, United States
2 - Vogon Laboratory Services, , , Canada

Contact Information: [email protected]; 302-636-1517


For decades, coho salmon in the North West of the US suffered from acute mortality when returning to spawn from the Pacific Ocean into Urban Surface Waters. The phenomena was unidentified and known as urban runoff mortality syndrome due to its association with surface runoffs. Recently, researchers from the University of Washington, identified the cause that is associated with chemicals leached from tires that gets into surface waters. Widely used tire-rubber stabilizer 6PPD (N-1,3-dimethylbutyl-N’- phenyl-p-phenylenediamine) degrades to form 6PPD-quinone, which is toxic to juvenile coho salmon and potentially toxic to other aquatic species when present even at low ug/L levels in water. Once this compound was identified with an LC-Q/TOF, there was an urgent need to quantify its presence in surface waters globally. This work describes a fast, direct-inject analytical method for the quantitation of 6PPD-quinone in surface water using liquid chromatography/triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC/TQ), including sample preparation, recovery, precision, stability, and reporting limit. Chromatographic resolution was found to be an important step to achieve sufficient retention and separation from possible interferences in some real-world samples. Further, Results from real-world samples collected in Canada and the United States obtained in this study indicate that samples in most urban areas have levels of 6PPD-Quinone close to the median lethal concentration for salmon calculated sub-ug/L level