A broad range of organic compounds is recognized as environmentally relevant for their potential adverse effects on human and ecosystem health. This method was developed to better determine the distribution of 61 compounds that are typically associated with industrial and household waste as well as some that are toxic and known (or suspected) for endocrine-disrupting potential extracted from environmental sediment samples. Pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) coupled with solid-phase extraction (SPE) was used to reduce sample preparation time, reduce solvent consumption to one-fifth of that required using dichloromethane-based Soxhlet extraction, and to minimize background interferences for full scan GC/MS analysis. Recoveries from spiked Ottawa sand, commercially available topsoil, and environmental stream sediment, fortified at 4–720 μg per compound, averaged 76 ± 13%. Initial method detection limits for single-component compounds ranged from 12.5 to 520 μg/kg, based on 25 g samples. Results from 103 environmental sediment samples show that 36 out of 61 compounds (59%) were detected in at least one sample with concentrations ranging from 20 to 100,000 μg/kg. The most frequently detected compound, beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol, was detected in 87 of the 103 (84.5%) environmental samples with a concentration range 360–100,000 μg/kg. Results for a standard reference material using dichloromethane Soxhlet-based extraction are also compared.
Analytica Chimica Acta – Elsevier
Published: Apr 4, 2005
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