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International Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Volume 2015, Article ID 678579, 8 pages
Research Article

Determination of Glucocorticoids in UPLC-MS in Environmental Samples from an Occupational Setting

1Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
2Environmental Research Center, Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Via S. Maugeri 10, 27100 Pavia, Italy
3Hospital Operating Unit of Occupational Medicine (UOOML), Salvatore Maugeri Foundation, Via S. Maugeri 10, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 29 September 2014; Revised 13 February 2015; Accepted 19 February 2015

Academic Editor: Troy D. Wood

Copyright © 2015 Enrico Oddone 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.


Occupational exposures to glucocorticoids are still a neglected issue in some work environments, including pharmaceutical plants. We developed an analytical method to quantify simultaneously 21 glucocorticoids using UPLC coupled with mass spectrometry to provide a basis to carry out environmental monitoring. Samples were taken from air, hand-washing tests, pad-tests and wipe-tests. This paper reports the contents of the analytical methodology, along with the results of this extensive environmental and personal monitoring of glucocorticoids. The method in UPLC-MS turned out to be suitable and effective for the aim of the study. Wipe-test and pad-test desorption was carried out using 50 mL syringes, a simple technique that saves time without adversely affecting analyte recovery. Results showed a widespread environmental pollution due to glucocorticoids. This is of particular concern. Evaluation of the dose absorbed by each worker and identification of a biomarker for occupational exposure will contribute to assessment and prevention of occupational exposure.