Key Laboratory of Pollution Processes and Environmental Criteria, Ministry of Education, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin, 300350, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]
Characterization of the isomers perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA), a key intermediate of the perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) precursors, is a prerequisite to understand the contribution of precursors to PFOS in the environmental and biological matrices. However, the lack of commercial standards makes quantification of the PFOSA isomers in complex matrices a big challenge. For the first time, a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method was established to identify and quantify PFOSA isomers. Improvement on chromatographic separation with selected reaction monitoring allowed full resolution of six monomethyl branched isomers of PFOSA. The isomers were identified and quantified using a series of characteristic fragment ions and the specific product ions of molecular anion m/z 498: m/z 78 (n-), m/z 169 (iso-), m/z 419 (1m-), m/z 164 (2m-), m/z 259 (3m-), m/z 269 (4m-) and m/z 219 (5m-PFOSA). With the aid of 19F nuclear magnetic resonance to define one technical product as standard, the developed method was used to quantify PFOSA isomers in other technical products and spiked fish blood samples. The results indicated that the developed method displayed strong application prospect for measuring trace level of PFOSA isomers in complex samples. The method detection limits for all isomers were in the range of 0.1-1 pg/g ww for blood samples.