Determination of household chemicals using gas chromatography and liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry

Rebecca A. Trenholm, Brett J. Vanderford, Jörg E. Drewes, Shane A. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


A method has been developed for the determination of 24 household high production volume (HPV) chemicals in municipal wastewater systems using solid-phase extraction (SPE) and analyses using both gas chromatography and liquid chromatography, each with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS and LC-MS/MS). Target compounds include pesticides, antioxidants, fragrances, plasticizers, preservatives and personal care products. Method reporting limits ranged from 0.1 to 100 ng/L in water and recoveries for most compounds were between 54 and 112%. Household HPVs were consistently detected in raw sewage entering three full-scale wastewater treatment plants. Compounds such as vanillin, DEET, benzophenone, 3-indolebutyric acid, bisphenol A, triclosan and triclocarban were detected in all wastewater influent and effluent samples, but were significantly lower in the effluent. Many of the remaining compounds were detected in the influent, but below detection in effluent samples. Menthol and phenoxyethanol had the highest observed concentrations in influent samples ranging from 1.5 to 13 μg/L for menthol, and 8.8 to 22 μg/L for phenoxyethanol. MGK-11, methylresorcinol, trifluralin, hexabromododecane, acriflavin and atrazine were not detected in any samples. The method described here detects a broad range of HPV chemicals with great sensitivity and selectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-262
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 9 2008


  • Gas chromatography
  • High production volume (HPV) chemicals
  • Household chemicals
  • Liquid chromatography
  • Solid phase extraction
  • Tandem mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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