A comparison of three analytical techniques for the measurement of steroidal estrogens in environmental water samples

Elsevier Inc
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Talanta, 2009, 78 (3), pp. 1204 - 1210
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Research into the analysis and monitoring of steroidal estrogens has grown significantly over the last decade, resulting in the emergence of a range of applicable techniques. In this study, three popular techniques, gas chromatographymass spectrometry (GCMS), gas chromatographytandem mass spectrometry (GCMSMS) and liquid chromatographytandem mass spectrometry (LCMSMS) for the analysis of three highly potent steroidal estrogens in the aquatic environment have been compared. It has been observed that overall, the three techniques appear comparable in generating similar estrogen concentrations for river and effluent samples. Of the three techniques, the GCMS technique is the simplest to operate, but fails to detect the estrogens at the lower-end of environmentally relevant concentrations. The tandem MS techniques are more selective than MS, and therefore able to detect lower concentration levels of the three steroidal estrogens of interest. However, the LCMSMS technique is more susceptible to matrix interferences for the analysis of samples, resulting in a reduction of the signal-to-noise ratio and a subsequent reduction in reliability and stability compared to GCMSMS. With the GCMSMS technique offering increased selectivity, the lowest limits of detection, and no false positive identification, it is recommended to be the preferred analytical technique for routine analysis of estrogens in environmental water samples.
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