Measurement of selected polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in water via ultrasound assisted emulsification–microextraction (USAEME) using low-density organic solvents

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Despite bans and restrictions for their adverse health effects including endocrine disruption, due to their stability in the environment, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are still of concern for their residues in several matrices. This study employed low-density ultrasound-assisted emulsification–microextraction (USAEME) to measure selected PCBs (28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, and 180) in water samples for gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. Among tested solvents (isooctane, chloroform, hexane, and cyclohexane), 200 μL isooctane resulted in the highest yield for a 10 mL sample. The optimized method was validated and yielded recoveries of 87.29–92.83% with the limit of detection and limit of quantification (LOQ) values 3–12 ng/L and 10–40 ng/L, respectively. Twelve tap water samples collected in September 2014 were screened using this simple, rapid, and validated method. PCB concentrations in two samples were above the LOQ values; one sample contained 1,380 ng/L of PCB 118, 530 ng/L of PCB 138, and 152 ng/L of PCB 153, and the other contained 444 ng/L of PCB 138. Despite the city water supply being clean and the municipality employing all available measures to ensure clean water supply, the general public must be made aware of the regular maintenance of local water pipelines and storage tanks for the prevention of PCB contamination.

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