Determination of cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide in sewage effluent by stable isotope-dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

Llewellyn, N.; Lloyd, P.; Juergens, M.D. ORCID:; Johnson, A.C. ORCID: 2011 Determination of cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide in sewage effluent by stable isotope-dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography A, 1218 (47). 8519-8528.

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A reliable and specific method was developed for the determination of the cytotoxic drugs cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide in sewage effluent. The most successful combination was found to be Strata-X solid-phase extraction followed by Florisil® clean-up with analysis by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Quantification by internal standardisation was achieved using custom synthesised d4-cyclophophosphamide. The mass spectrometer was operated in highly selective reaction monitoring (HSRM) mode, which significantly reduced matrix noise and improved sensitivity. Although it suffered from some ionisation suppression, electrospray ionisation (ESI) was found to give an order of magnitude better sensitivity in terms of limit of detection than atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation (APCI). Using final effluent from two different sewage treatment plants, the method was validated following official European guidelines and shown to be a high performance tool for routine analysis at the sub-nanogram per litre level. Depending on the matrix, the limit of detection for cyclophosphamide was between 0.03 ng/L and 0.12 ng/L and for ifosfamide between 0.05 ng/L and 0.09 ng/L. For cyclophosphamide the accuracy and precision, tested at 1.7 ng/L, were 98–109% and ≤13%, CV respectively. For ifosfamide the accuracy and precision, tested at 1.1 ng/L, were 98–113% and ≤15% CV, respectively. Depending on the sample matrix the absolute recovery of the internal standard was between 57% and 70%. The method was tested by analysis of spot samples taken from the final effluent discharges of two sewage treatment plants; the first using a conventional trickling filter treatment process and second employing activated sludge followed by ultra violet treatment. Cyclophosphamide was detected at 0.19 ng/L at the first plant and at the second detected at 3.7 ng/L and 3.5 ng/L, before and after the UV treatment process; ifosfamide was not detectable at either plant.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Acreman
ISSN: 0021-9673
Additional Keywords: cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, cytotoxic drugs, hospital effluents, wastewater, sewage effluent
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 31 Oct 2011 09:58 +0 (UTC)

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