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Ion Mobility-High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (IM-HRMS) for the Analysis of Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs): Database Compilation and Application to Urine Samples

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posted on 13.04.2021, 04:03 by Lidia Belova, Noelia Caballero-Casero, Alexander L. N. van Nuijs, Adrian Covaci
Ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS)-derived collision cross section (CCS) values can serve as a valuable additional identification parameter within the analysis of compounds of emerging concern (CEC) in human matrices. This study introduces the first comprehensive database of DTCCSN2 values of 148 CECs and their metabolites including bisphenols, alternative plasticizers (AP), organophosphate flame retardants (OP), perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS), and others. A total of 311 ions were included in the database, whereby the DTCCSN2 values for 113 compounds are reported for the first time. For 105 compounds, more than one ion is reported. Moreover, the DTCCSN2 values of several isomeric CECs and their metabolites are reported to allow a distinction between isomers. Comprehensive quality assurance guidelines were implemented in the workflow of acquiring DTCCSN2 values to ensure reproducible experimental conditions. The reliability and reproducibility of the complied database were investigated by analyzing pooled human urine spiked with 30 AP and OP metabolites at two concentration levels. For all investigated metabolites, the DTCCSN2 values measured in urine showed a percent error of <1% in comparison to database values. DTCCSN2 values of OP metabolites showed an average percent error of 0.12% (50 ng/mL in urine) and 0.15% (20 ng/mL in urine). For AP metabolites, these values were 0.10 and 0.09%, respectively. These results show that the provided database can be of great value for enhanced identification of CECs in environmental and human matrices, which can advance future suspect screening studies on CECs.