Silva, M. J., Malek, N. A., Hodge, C. C., Reidy, J. A., Kato, K., Barr, D. B., Needham, L. L., & Brock, J. W.; “Improved quantitative detection of 11 urinary phthalate metabolites in humans using liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization tandem mass spectrometry;” Journal of Chromatography Part B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences, 2003, 789(2), 393-404.


Phthalates are widely used as industrial solvents and plasticizers, with global use exceeding four million tons per year. We improved our previously developed high-performance liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-tandem mass spectrometric (HPLC-APCI-MS/MS) method to measure urinary phthalate metabolites by increasing the selectivity and the sensitivity by better resolving them from the solvent front, adding three more phthalate metabolites, monomethyl phthalate (mMP), mono-(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl)phthalate (mEOHP) and mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl)phthalate (mEHHP); increasing the sample throughput; and reducing the solvent usage. Furthermore, this improved method enabled us to analyze free un-conjugated mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (mEHP) by eliminating interferences derived from coelution of the glucuronide-bound, or conjugated form, of the mEHP on measurements of the free mEHP. This method for measuring phthalate metabolites in urine involves solid-phase extraction followed by reversed-phase HPLC-APCI-MS/MS using isotope dilution with (13)C(4) internal standards. We further evaluated the ruggedness and the reliability of the method by comparing measurements made by multiple analysts at different extraction settings on multiple instruments. We observed mMP, monoethyl phthalate (mEP), mono-n-butyl phthalate (mBP), monobenzyl phthalate (mBzP), mEHP, mEHHP and mEOHP in the majority of urine specimens analyzed with DEHP-metabolites mEHHP and mEOHP present in significantly higher amounts than mEHP.