Development of an analytical method based on solid-phase extraction and LC-MS/MS for the monitoring of current-use pesticides and their metabolites in human urine

Adrian Covaci , Beibei Gao , Giulia Poma , Govindan Malarvannan , Catalina Dumitrascu , Michiel Bastiaensen , Minghua Wang


Received November 05, 2020,Revised , Accepted March 11, 2021, Available online March 26, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 153-163

Pyrethroids, organophosphorus pesticides and fipronil have been listed as priority chemicals in human biomonitoring studies because of their wide use and potential health effects in humans. The determination of 13 pesticides, including pyrethroids (deltamethrin, cypermethrin, permethrin, cyfluthrin, bifenthrin), organophosphorus (chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos-methyl, and malathion), fipronil, neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, acetamiprid and thiacloprid) and triazole (prothioconazole), together with 13 corresponding metabolites in human urine samples was achieved by solid-phase extraction and analysis by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry. All targeted compounds, except malathion dicarboxylic acid, were measured with a mean within-accuracy (n = 5) of 71%–114% (RSD: 1%–14%) and between-run (n = 15) accuracy of 80%–118% (RSD: 2%–14%). Limits of quantitation of the targeted analytes ranged from 0.1 to 16 pg/mL. The detection result of urine samples from 25 volunteers indicated that the detection frequencies of 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (median: 448 pg/mL), 6-chloropyridine-3-carboxylic acid (median: 193 pg/mL), 2-methyl-3-phenylbenzoic acid (median: 181 pg/mL), 3-phenoxybenzoic acid (median: 99 pg/mL), 2-isopropyl-6-methyl-4-pyrimidinol (median: 77 pg/mL), cyfluthrin (median: 59 pg/mL), cis-3-(2,2-dichlorovinyl)-2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxylic acid (cis-DCCA, median: 53 pg/mL), trans-DCCA (median: 25 pg/mL), prothioconazole (median: 21 pg/mL), imidacloprid (median: 7 pg/mL), and prothioconazole-desthio (median: 1 pg/mL) were > 50%. The obtained results show that the validated method is suitable for the human biomonitoring of these current-use pesticides and their metabolites.

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