Publication Details

McDonald, J. A., Harden, N. B., Nghiem, L. D. & Khan, S. J. (2012). Analysis of N-nitrosamines in water by isotope dilution gas chromatography-electron ionisation tandem mass spectrometry. Talanta, 99 146-154.


A method has been developed for the determination of eight N-nitrosamines in drinking water and treated municipal effluent. The method uses solid phase extraction (SPE), gas chromatography (GC) and analysis by tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS) with electron ionization (EI). The target compounds are N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosomethyethylamine (NMEA), N-nitrosodiethylamine NDEA), N-nitrosodipropylamine (NDPA), N-nitrosodi-n-butylamine (NDBuA), N-nitrosodiphenylamine (NDPhA), N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPyr), N-nitrosopiperidine (NPip), N-nitrosomorpholine (NMorph). The use of direct isotope analogues for isotope dilution analysis of all analytes ensures accurate quantification, accounting for analytical variabilities that may occur during sample processing, extraction and instrumental analysis. Method detection levels (MDLs) were determined to describe analyte concentrations sufficient to provide a signal with 99% certainty of detection. The established MDLs for all analytes were 0.4–4 ng L−1 in a variety of aqueous matrices. Sample matrices were observed to have only a minor impact on MDLs and the method validation confirmed satisfactory method stability over intra-day and inter-day analyses of tap water and tertiary treated effluent samples

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