Analysis of Atrazine and Other Pesticides in Water and Tissue Using Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Dreffs, Danita M., Forrest B. Hosea, Danielle N. Maxwell, Casey E. Rhines, Paige Roberts, Tatum Y. Zurawski, Rachelle Belanger, Elizabeth S. Roberts-Kirchhoff, and Kendra R. Evans

Pesticides have adverse health effects due to their action as endocrine-disrupting compounds, so it is of interest to quantitate their levels in the environment and in tissue of animals who have been exposed to atrazine.  In this work, we analyzed pesticides by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).  Standard solutions of five pesticides (2,4-D, atrazine, carbofuran, cyanazine, and metolachlor) were prepared and analyzed by LC-MS to determine the retention time and the mass spectrum for each compound.  Additionally, a method for separation and detection of atrazine and its metabolites, desethylatrazine and desisopropylatrazine, was developed.  Our work to date has primarily focused on analysis of atrazine, which is one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States.  The LC-MS method will be used to quantitate atrazine in Michigan and Ohio water samples following a solid-phase extraction procedure.  The method will also be used to quantitate atrazine uptake in crayfish in southeastern Michigan and northern Ohio regions following extraction of the pesticide with a quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged, and safe (QuEChERS) method.