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Keywords:

  • LC-MS;
  • HRMS;
  • pharmaceuticals;
  • environmental pollutants;
  • Qual/Quant

Abstract

The presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water is an emerging environmental concern. In most environmental testing laboratories, LC-MS/MS assays based on selected reaction monitoring are used as part of a battery of tests used to assure water quality. Although LC-MS/MS continues to be the best tool for detecting pharmaceuticals in water, the combined use of hybrid high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) and ultrahigh pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC) is starting to become a practical tool to study emerging environmental contaminants. The hybrid LTQ–orbitrap mass spectrometer is suitable for integrated quantitative and qualitative bioanalysis because of the following reasons: (1) the ability to collect full-scan HRMS spectra with scan speeds suitable for UHPLC separations, (2) routine measurement of mass with less than 5 ppm mass accuracy, (3) high mass resolving power, and (4) ability to perform on-the-fly polarity switching in the linear ion trap (LTQ). In the present work, we provide data demonstrating the application of UHPLC–LTQ–orbitrap for the detection, characterization and quantification of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites in drinking water. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.