Hair decontamination procedure prior to multi-class pesticide analysis

Radu Corneliu Duca, Emilie Hardy, Guillaume Salquèbre, Brice M.R. Appenzeller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Although increasing interest is being observed in hair analysis for the biomonitoring of human exposure to pesticides, some limitations still have to be addressed for optimum use of this matrix in that specific context. One main possible issue concerns the need to differentiate chemicals biologically incorporated into hair from those externally deposited on hair surface from contaminated air or dust. The present study focuses on the development of a washing procedure for the decontamination of hair before analysis of pesticides from different chemical classes. For this purpose, three different procedures of artificial contamination (with silica, cellulose, and aqueous solution) were used to simulate pesticides deposition on hair surface. Several washing solvents (four organic: acetone, dichloromethane, methanol, acetonitrile; and four aqueous: water, phosphate buffer, shampoo, sodium dodecylsulfate) were evaluated for their capacity to remove artificially deposited pesticides from hair surface. The most effective washing solvents were sodium dodecylsulfate and methanol for aqueous and organic solvents, respectively. Moreover, after a first washing with sodium dodecylsulfate or methanol, the majority of externally deposited pesticides was removed and a steady-state was reached since significantly lower amounts were removed by additional second and third washings. Finally, the effectiveness of a decontamination procedure comprising washing with sodium dodecylsulfate and methanol was successively demonstrated. In parallel, it was determined that the final procedure did not affect the chemicals biologically incorporated, as hair strands naturally containing pesticides were used. Such a procedure appears to remove in one-shot the fraction of chemicals located on hair surface and does not require repeated washing steps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalDrug Testing and Analysis
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Decontamination
  • Hair
  • Multi-class analysis
  • Pesticides
  • Washing procedure


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