The widespread use of organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs) in commercial products have led to their increased presence in the environment. In this study, a rapid and reliable analytical method was developed for the analysis of five PFRs in water using gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) with electron ionisation (EI) and a run time of 13 min. The PFRs investigated were tributyl phosphate (TBP), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TCPP), tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCP) and triphenyl phosphate (TPP). Solid phase extraction (SPE) was undertaken to extract and concentrate target analytes from aqueous matrices. All water samples were extracted from a volume of 500 mL. Isotopically labelled compounds were used to account for analytical variability and for accurate quantification by isotope dilution. Method recoveries for all compounds were above 80% in all tested water samples. Method detection limits for all target analytes ranged from 0.3 to 24 ng/L in ultrapure water, tap water, seawater, surface water, secondary effluent and swimming pool water. Validation of this method confirmed satisfactory method stability with less than 1% coefficients of variation, verifying that this approach produced good reproducibility.
- Drinking water
- Swimming pool water