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A multi-component method to determine pesticides in surface water by liquid-chromatography tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 28.03.2018, 08:51 by A. M. Ramos, M. J. Whelan, S. Cosgrove, R. Villa, B. Jefferson, P. Campo, P. Jarvis, I. Guymer
Pesticide pollution of surface water is a major concern in many agricultural catchments The development of rapid and accurate methods for determining pesticide concentrations in water samples is, therefore, important. Here we describe a method for the simultaneous analysis of six pesticides (metaldehyde, quinmerac, carbetamide, metazachlor, propyzamide and pendimethalin) in natural waters by direct aqueous injection with liquid chromatography‐tandem mass spectrometry. The method validation showed good linearity from 0.2 to 50.0 µg/L with correlation coefficients between 0.995 and 0.999. Method accuracy ranged from 84 to 100% and precision Relative standard deviation (RSD) from 4 to 15%. The limits of detection for the targeted pesticides ranged from 0.03 to 0.36 µg/L. No significant matrix effects on quantification were observed (t‐test). The method was tested on water samples from a small arable catchment in eastern England. Peak concentrations for the determinands ranged from 1 to 10 µg/L.


This work was funded jointly by the Chemicals RegulationDirectorate of the UK Health and Safety Executive and Lonzawith additional support from Severn Trent Water Limited. MW benefitted from Study Leave granted bythe University of Leicester.



Water and Environment Journal, 2017, 31 (3), pp. 380-387 (8)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/School of Geography, Geology and the Environment/Physical Geography


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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Water and Environment Journal


Wiley for Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)





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Additional Supporting Information may be found in theonline version of this article at the publisher’s web-site:Fig. S1. Calibration curves achieved by plotting the peak areas of the quantitative ion versus the corresponding pesticide concentration (0.2; 0.5; 1.0; 2.0; 8.0 and 10 µg/L).Table S1 Accuracy and precision intra and inter-day of a 5 µg/L standard;The file associated with this record is under embargo until 12 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.