Environmental science and pollution research international
Alternate Journal
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int

Individuals are exposed to a wide variety of chemicals over their lifetime, yet current understanding of mixture toxicology is still limited. We present a two-step analytical method using a gas chromatograph-triple quadrupole mass spectrometer that requires less than 1 mL of sample. The method is applied to 183 plasma samples from a study population of children with autism spectrum disorder, their parents, and unrelated neurotypical children. We selected 156 environmental chemical compounds and ruled out chemicals with detection rates less than 20% of our study cohort (n = 61), as well as ones not amenable to the selected extraction and analytical methods (n = 34). The targeted method then focused on remaining chemicals (n = 61) plus 8 additional polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Persistent pollutants, such as p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) and PCB congeners 118 and 180, were detected at high frequencies and several previously unreported chemicals, including 2,4,6-trichlorophenol, isosafrole, and hexachlorobutadiene, were frequently detected in our study cohort. This work highlights the benefits of employing a multi-step analytical method in exposure studies and demonstrates the efficacy of such methods for reporting novel information on previously unstudied pollutant exposures.

Johnson CL, Jazan E, Kong SW, Pennell KD. A two-step gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for measurement of multiple environmental pollutants in human plasma. Environmental science and pollution research international. 2020. doi:10.1007/s11356-020-10702-6.