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Air and Surface Sampling Method for Assessing Exposures to Quaternary Ammonium Compounds Using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry
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  • Alternative Title:
    Ann Work Expo Health
  • Description:
    This method was designed for sampling select quaternary ammonium (quat) compounds in air or on surfaces followed by analysis using ultraperformance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Target quats were benzethonium chloride, didecyldimethylammonium bromide, benzyldimethyldodecylammonium chloride, benzyldimethyltetradecylammonium chloride, and benzyldimethylhexadecylammonium chloride. For air sampling, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) filters are recommended for 15-min to 24-hour sampling. For surface sampling, Pro-wipe® 880 (PW) media was chosen. Samples were extracted in 60:40 acetonitrile:0.1% formic acid for 1 hour on an orbital shaker. Method detection limits range from 0.3 to 2 ng/ml depending on media and analyte. Matrix effects of media are minimized through the use of multiple reaction monitoring versus selected ion recording. Upper confidence limits on accuracy meet the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 25% criterion for PTFE and PW media for all analytes. Using PTFE and PW analyzed with multiple reaction monitoring, the method quantifies levels among the different quats compounds with high precision (<10% relative standard deviation) and low bias (<11%). The method is sensitive enough with very low method detection limits to capture quats on air sampling filters with only a 15-min sample duration with a maximum assessed storage time of 103 days before sample extraction. This method will support future exposure assessment and quantitative epidemiologic studies to explore exposure-response relationships and establish levels of quats exposures associated with adverse health effects.

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