Validation and application of a QuEChERS based method for estimation of half-life of imidazolinone herbicides in soils by LC-ESI-MS/MS.


Maria Inês da Costa Marinho


Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Viçosa, 36570-900 Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


A modified QuEChERS (quick, easy, cheap, effective, rugged and safe) method was validated and applied for the estimation of half-lives of two imidazolinone group herbicides, imazethapyr and imazapic, in the Dystric Plinthosol (FX) and Ferralsol (LVA) agricultural soils using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. The solutions were prepared in a matrix extract to avoid matrix effects. The analytical method showed satisfactory specificity, selectivity, linearity (R2 > 0.99), recoveries (range 85.0-117.0%), with RSD between 6.7% and 16.6%, and precision (range 94.7-108.5%), with RSD between 6.0% and 11.9%. The limit of detections for imazethapyr and imazapic in the soils were 2.2 µg kg-1 and 2.0 µg kg-1, and the limit of quantifications were 6.6 µg kg-1 and 6.1 µg kg-1. The half-lives of imazethapyr (35.7 and 97.9 days) and imazapic (40.4 and 64.4 days), in the FX and LVA soils, respectively, indicate that they are medium-persistence herbicides with possibility of leaching into groundwater. In addition, high concentrations of imazethapyr and imazapic were found in the soil samples after the time of application, meaning that there is a potential for prolonged soil residual activity due to carryover.