Comprehensive Analysis of the Great Lakes Top Predator Fish for Novel Halogenated Organic Contaminants by GC×GC-HR-ToF Mass Spectrometry

The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program (GLFMSP) has traced the fate and transport of anthropogenic chemicals in the Great Lakes region for decades. Isolating and identifying halogenated species in fish is a major challenge due to the complexity of the biological matrix. A nontargeted screening methodology was developed and applied to lake trout using a 2-dimensional gas chromatograph coupled to a high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometer (GC×GC-HR-ToF MS). Halogenated chemicals were identified using a combination of authentic standards and library spectral matching, with molecular formula estimations provided by exact mass spectral interpretation. In addition to the halogenated chemicals currently being targeted by the GLFMSP, more than 60 nontargeted halogenated species were identified. Most appear to be metabolites or breakdown products of larger halogenated organics. The most abundant compound class was halomethoxyphenols accounting for more than 60% of the total concentration of halogenated compounds in top predator fish from all five Great Lakes illustrating the need and utility of nontargeted halogenated screening of aquatic systems using this platform.

Authors: Fernando S, Renaguli A, Milligan MS, Pagano JJ, Hopke PK, Holsen TM, Crimmins BS. ; Full Source: Environmental Science & Technology. 2018 Mar 6;52(5):2909-2917. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b05999. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

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