Multi-residue analysis of organic pollutants in hair and urine for matrices comparison

Emilie M. Hardy, Radu C. Duca, Guillaume Salquebre, Brice M.R. Appenzeller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Urine being currently the most classically used matrix for the assessment of human exposure to pesticides, a growing interest is yet observed in hair analysis for the detection of organic pollutants. The aim of the present work was to develop and to validate multi-residue analytical methods, as similar as possible, in order to determine pesticides and their metabolites in these two biological matrices despite their different nature. The list of parent compounds and their metabolites investigated here consisted of 56 compounds, including organochlorines, organophosphates, pyrethroids, carbamates, other pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).Two different approaches were necessary for the analysis of non-polar compounds (mainly parents) on one hand and polar analytes (mainly metabolites) on the other hand. In the final procedure, extraction from hair was carried out with acetonitrile/water after sample decontamination and pulverization. Extract was split into two fractions, which were analyzed directly with solid phase microextraction (SPME) injection for non-polar compounds and after derivatization with liquid injection for polar compounds. In urine, non-polar compounds were analyzed directly using SPME. Polar compounds were analyzed after acidic hydrolysis, liquid-liquid extraction with acetonitrile-cyclohexane-ethyl acetate, derivatization and liquid injection. Analysis was performed with gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry operating in negative chemical ionization (GC-MS/MS-NCI) for all the compounds (non-polar and polar) in the two matrices. In hair, limits of quantification (LOQ) ranged from 0.02. pg/mg for trifluralin to 5.5. pg/mg for diethylphosphate. In urine, LOQ ranged from 0.4. pg/mL for α-endosulfan to 4. ng/mL for dimethyldithiophosphate. The analysis of samples supplemented with standards and samples collected from an animal previously submitted to chronic exposure to pesticides confirmed that all the compounds were analyzable in both hair and urine. In addition, the levels of sensitivity reached with these methods were quite satisfactory with regard to previously published studies, and also considering the number of compounds investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-19
Number of pages14
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Hair analysis
  • Human biomonitoring
  • Pesticides
  • Urine analysis


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