A gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) method was validated for the determination of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the FDA list of 93 harmful or potentially harmful constituents of mainstream cigarette smoke (MCS). Target analytes were extracted from total particulate matter using accelerated solvent extraction with a toluene/ethanol solvent mixture. Matrix artefacts were removed by two-step solid-phase extraction process. Three different GC–MS systems [GC–MS (single quadrupole), GC–MS/MS (triple quadrupole) and GC–HRMS (high resolution, magnetic sector)] using the same separation conditions were compared for the analysis of MCS of 3R4F Kentucky reference cigarettes generated under ISO and intense smoking regimes. The high mass resolution (m/∆m ≥ 10,000) and associated selectivity of detection by GC–HRMS provided the highest quality data for the target PAHs in MCS. Owing to the HR data acquisition mode enabling measurement of accurate mass, limits of quantification for PAHs were 5 to 15-fold lower for GC–HRMS than for GC–MS/MS and GC–MS. The presented study illustrates that the optimised sample preparation strategy followed by GC–HRMS analysis provides a fit-for-purpose and robust analytical approach allowing measurement of PAHs at (ultra)low concentrations in MCS. Furthermore, the study illustrates the importance and benefits of robust sample preparation and clean-up to compensate for limited selectivity when low-resolution MS is used.
Chemistry Central Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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