Application of mass spectrometry in the analysis of polybrominated diphenyl ethers

Authors

  • Dongli Wang,

    1. Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
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  • Qing X. Li

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
    • Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822.
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Abstract

This review summarized the applications of mass spectrometric techniques for the analysis of the important flame retardants polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) to understand the environmental sources, fate and toxicity of PBDEs that were briefly discussed to give a general idea for the need of analytical methodologies. Specific performance of various mass spectrometers hyphenated with, for example, gas chromatograph, liquid chromatograph, and inductively coupled plasma (GC/MS, LC/MS, and ICP/MS, respectively) for the analysis of PBDEs was compared with an objective to present the information on the evolution of MS techniques for determining PBDEs in environmental and human samples. GC/electron capture negative ionization quadrupole MS (GC/NCI qMS), GC/high resolution MS (GC/HRMS) and GC ion trap MS (GC/ITMS) are most commonly used MS techniques for the determination of PBDEs. New analytical technologies such as fast tandem GC/MS and LC/MS become available to improve analyses of higher PBDEs. The development and application of the tandem MS techniques have helped to understand environmental fate and transformations of PBDEs of which abiotic and biotic degradation of decaBDE is thought to be one major source of Br1-9BDEs present in the environment in addition to direct loading from commercial mixtures. MS-based proteomics will offer an insight into the molecular mechanisms of toxicity and potential developmental and neurotoxicity of PBDEs. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Mass Spec Rev 29:737–775, 2010

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