Analysis of PCBs in Environmental Matrices Using Triple Quadrupole GC-MS/MS

New Organic Monitoring Techniques (Session 2)
Oral Presentation

Presented by A. Fornadel
Prepared by A. Ladak, G. Riccardino
Thermo Scientific, 55, Chapel St, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 8BJ, United Kingdom

Contact Information: [email protected]; +447393145757


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications but their production was banned because of their persistence in the environment and their tendency to enter the food chains and bioaccumulate in living organisms due to their lipophilicity. There are currently 209 known PCBs congeners that can be divided into two groups according to their structural and toxicological characteristics: the non-dioxin like PCBs (non DL-PCB) representing the majority of the PCB congeners with lower degree of toxicity and the dioxin-like PCBs (DL-PCBs) representing the 12 most toxic congeners and having structure and toxicity similar to dioxins. DL-PCBs are classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and they have been regulated under the Stockholm Convention for POPs since 2001. Recent advances in gas chromatography triple quadrupole mass spectrometry allowed for high sensitivity and selectivity leading to consider GC-MS/MS as a reliable tool for PCBs analysis as well as high resolution accurate mass spectrometry. The Thermo Scientific GC-MS/MS was used for the determination of PCBs in environmental (water and soil) samples. The selected reaction monitoring (SRM) acquisition mode ensured appropriate selectivity and sensitivity for analysis of complex matrix samples. Linearity and instrument detection limits (IDLs) were assessed in the experiments as well as an extended robustness study to assess the reproducibility of the detection of trace levels of PCBs.