Here, we present a recently released gas chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) application that demonstrates an excellent method for the isolation of and then quantitation of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) in the low µM levels in culture media. The advantages of this approach make this method very useful to those researching toxicological effects of this particular phthalate in animal and human studies because matrix interferences are eliminated from biological samples.
As mentioned in an earlier post (link to post below), phthalates are a group of chemicals used primarily as softeners in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic production for a wide range of products, such as toys, footwear, cosmetics, perfume and pharmaceutical packaging. Because numerous studies have linked these chemicals to toxic effects to the human reproductive system and unborn children, they are being regulated and monitored by governmental agencies. In fact, a recent study by the Children’s Environmental Health Center at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York reported an association between exposure to phthalates and obesity in children. For more studies on health impacts of phthalates, check out the reference section of the application note referenced here.
Application Note 52282, Determination of DEHP in Culture Media by GC-MS/MS Using PCI Ammonia, (downloadable PDF) describes a method of elucidating DEHP in culture media by GC-MS/MS using positive chemical ionization (PCI) with ammonia reagent gas.
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By the way, if you are interested in an HPLC method for the analysis of phthalates (or BPA and phenols), do check out this blog post, Sample Preparation & HPLC Analysis: BPA, Phenols, and Phthalates.
Also, don’t forget to tell us about your phthalate testing challenges in the Comments box below. We look forward to hearing from you.