An screening method, comprised of straightforward sample treatment based on silica clean-up, GC × GC-ToFMS detection and automated data processing with the non-proprietary free downloadable software MetAlignID, has been successfully validated with respect to false negatives for the sum PCB 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180), for the sum of BDE 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154 and 183, for the four markers of PAHs and for a number of emerging brominated flame retardants. A screening detection limit (SDL) equal to or lower than the maximum regulatory level was always achieved. MetAlignID considerably decreased the time needed for data treatment from 20 to 5 min/file. Automated identification of the signature mass spectral patterns was applied to identify chlorinated- and brominated-containing substances with more than two halogen atoms, and PAH derivates. Although the success rate was variable and needs to be further improved, the tool was considered to be of added value.
- GC × GC-ToFMS
- Qualitative analysis