This study focuses on a method for simultaneously determining personal care products in a wide range of polarities in different water matrices. The method is based on stir-bar sorptive extraction followed by thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Prior to extraction, the parabens were acetylated to improve their affinity for the polydimethylsiloxane phase of the stir bar. The method showed good linearity, repeatability and reproducibility between days for all compounds and limits of detection at low ng/L levels (between 0.02 and 0.3 ng/L). The proposed method is also environmentally friendly, because it does not use organic solvents, and reduces the risk of external pollution, due to the minimal manipulation of the sample required. The method developed was successfully applied for the analysis of personal care products in different kinds of water matrices: influents and effluents of urban and industrial wastewater treatment plants, effluents of a reverse osmosis treatment plant and river waters. The influents of urban treatment plants generally showed the highest values for synthetic musks, with concentrations of up to 2219 ng/L of galaxolide, whereas the highest concentrations of parabens were detected in the industrial treatment plants influents.
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