Comprehensive solid-phase extraction method for persistent organic pollutants. Validation and application to the analysis of persistent chlorinated pesticides

Courtney D. Sandau, Andreas Sjödin, Mark D. Davis, John R. Barr, Vincent L. Maggio, Alyson L. Waterman, Kerry E. Preston, James L. Preau, Dana B. Barr, Larry L. Needham, Donald G. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is involved in many epidemiological studies regarding the measurement of chlorinated pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in specimens obtained from humans. In addition to these commonly determined analytes, there is a need to include additional persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in our analyses, which further stresses the analyses because sample volumes remain small. Thus, a single method of analysis for all POPs in human serum is needed. CDC has recently developed a semiautomated and comprehensive solid-phase extraction method for POPs. The method is comprehensive since it was optimized for the extraction of many different POP compound classes. We then developed a purification and fractionation scheme that allows (a) separation of different compound classes by particular functionalities and (b) purification of those fractions to remove coextracted interferences. This paper describes the first step in the semiautomated comprehensive extraction and multiple fractionation method developed by CDC for monitoring POPs. In this paper, we validate the analysis of the persistent chlorinated pesticides, a compound class difficult to examine because of their structural diversity, in human plasma. The method was validated against an existing CDC method by using a spiked quality-control serum pool. The concentrations determined for all analytes using both methods were within 2%-14% relative standard deviations. A multilevel (i.e., 3-4 point) matrix spike showed good linearity for the analytes tested (r2 = 0.978-0.999). The method was then applied to 40-year-old archived plasma samples for the quantitative analysis of selected chlorinated pesticides. Mean recoveries of the 13C-labeled internal quantification standards ranged from 64% to 123% for the 11 monitored pesticides. The overall method proved to be robust by handling old coagulated plasma samples. It allowed faster throughput of samples than our previous methods and provided cleaner samples with less frequent interferences or background as analyzed by high-resolution mass spectrometry. The method represents a preliminary step in establishing an automated, comprehensive multiresidue analysis method for POPs in human serum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry


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