A time- and cost-saving method for the congener-specific analysis of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in human serum has been developed and validated. After two fast extraction and clean-up steps, analyses were performed using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry with single ion monitoring (GC/SIM-MS), either in electron impact (EI) or electron-capture negative ionization (ECNI) mode. For the determination of dioxin-like congeners, an improvement in EI-MS sensitivity is desirable and use of NI is thus preferred. The procedure was validated for 12 dioxin-like congeners by analyzing spiked samples on three different days and using 13C 12-labelled analogues as internal standards. When using an NCI source, the limit of quantification was assessed at 0.01 μg/L, except for PCBs #77 and #81, which cannot be reliably detected below 0.05 μg/L. For the lower chlorinated non-dioxin-like congeners, NI offers less selectivity because of limited fragmentation. Electron impact ionization and electron-capture negative ionization mode can therefore be considered to be complementary for the determination of PCB congeners in the general population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry