Table of Contents
Chromatography Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 748989, 18 pages
Review Article

New Developments in Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry for the Determination of Micropollutants

Departamento de Química, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain

Received 7 October 2012; Accepted 13 November 2012

Academic Editor: Toyohide Takeuchi

Copyright © 2012 Zoraida Sosa-Ferrera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The combination of liquid chromatography (LC) with mass spectrometry (MS) in the environmental field has appeared as a valuable tool for the determination of micropollutants. Several groups of compounds have been considered as particularly relevant (e.g., pharmaceuticals, hormones and other endocrine-disrupting, personal care products and their metabolites, flame retardants, surfactants, and plasticizers, among others) since the same ones are continuously being released in the environment mainly as a result of the manufacturing processes, the disposal of unused or expired products, and the excreta. Because these micropollutants are not completely removed in the environment, very specific and sensitive analytical procedures are needed for their identification and quantification. High performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) (or LC-MS2) and especially time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF/MS), has allowed that many environmental contaminants that are highly polar or nonvolatile or have a high molecular weight to be analyzed or identified. In this work we present an overview focused on the developments of liquid chromatography mass spectrometry applied to the analysis of the main classes of micropollutants in aqueous and solid environmental samples. Various aspects of methodologies based on these techniques, including sample preparation (extraction/preconcentration) and matrix effects, are discussed.