Rationale: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are ubiquitous environmental pollutants that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature. Some VOCs have been classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), because they can bind to DNA and cause cell mutations. Therefore, monitoring of VOCs in human urine is very important to evaluate the correlation between exposure to VOCs and human disease. Methods: We have developed an improved analytical method for the simultaneous determination of VOCs with a wide range of polarities in human urine samples by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled to gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). In the improved method, a bi-polar carboxen-polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS) fiber was used for the optimized extraction of 15 VOCs with a wide range of polarities, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes (BTEX), alkylbenzenes, cresols, and naphthalene, in human urine samples. Extracted VOCs from the human urine were effectively separated by GC using a mid-polarity column (DB-35, 35% phenylmethylpolysiloxane) and monitored by MS using extracted ion monitoring (EIM) mode. Results: Under the optimized method, the linearity of the calibration curves was greater than 0.993. The limits of detection (LODs) at a signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio of 3 were 0.3–0.6 ng/mL. The coefficients of variation were in the range of 0.1–9.7% for within-day variation and 0.2–14.2% for day-to-day variation. Conclusions: The method was shown to be rapid and simple for the simultaneous determination of VOCs with a wide range of polarities in human urine and it could be applied to monitoring and to biomedical investigations to check exposure to VOCs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry