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Non-Targeted Analysis of Firefighter Breath Samples using GC-MS and Synchronous SIM/Scan Mode (ENTACT Workshop)
Wallace, A., J. Pleil, K. Oliver, D. Whitaker, S. Mentese, K. Fent, AND G. Horn. Non-Targeted Analysis of Firefighter Breath Samples using GC-MS and Synchronous SIM/Scan Mode (ENTACT Workshop). 2018 Non-Targeted Analysis Collaborative Research Trial (ENTACT) Workshop, RTP, NC, August 13 - 15, 2018.
This product describes the use of non-targeted analysis to identify environmental contaminants and compounds indicative of human exposure to firefighting activities. Simultaneous selected ion monitoring (SIM)/scan mode with GC/MS was used to targeted known VOCs indicative of exposure as well as to collect the full scan TIC of the sample, allowing for targeted and non-targeted analyses of samples. This proved to be an efficient way to identify biomarkers in biological samples. This technique will be useful in exposure assessment to decrease the number of field samples needed for targeted and non-targeted analysis. This research is of interest to regional partners and the general public.
Non-targeted analysis can be used to identify new chemicals indicative of environmental contamination and human exposure in addition to chemicals that are already targeted for their known toxicity. Most non-targeted analyses use liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS); herein we describe a novel implementation of this technique using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) platforms. Most GC-MS laboratories use single quadrupole mass spectrometers with unit mass resolution; however, recent improvements in instrument software allow collection of both selected ion monitoring (SIM) and scan spectra simultaneously, known as SIM/scan mode. This has made non-targeted investigation of environmental samples possible without the need for duplication sample collection and analysis. In this study, we performed targeted and non-targeted analyses of over 400 exhaled breath samples to assess levels of environmental contaminants after firefighters participated in controlled structure burns. Pre-, post-, and 1-h post-exposure breath samples were collected onto sorbent tubes, which were analyzed by automated thermal desorption (ATD)-GC/MS at U.S. EPA. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with known toxicity such as benzene, toluene, and xylene were targeted in SIM mode, while data for non-targeted compounds were simultaneously collected in scan mode. The identification of these non-targeted compounds is important to increase the list of chemicals that may be important biomarkers of firefighting activity and fire exposure, as well as to detect biomarkers of response indicated by changes in endogenous compounds.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
EXPOSURE METHODS & MEASUREMENT DIVISION
INTERNAL EXPOSURE INDICATORS BRANCH