Gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of 52 monohydroxylated metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in hairs of rats after controlled exposure.
A method based on gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry after derivatization with N-tert-butyldimethylsilyl-N-methyltrifluoroacetamide was developed for the analysis of monohydroxylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (OH-PAHs) in hair. The method focused on 52 target compounds corresponding to two- to six-ring monohydroxylated metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The limits of quantification ranged from 0.2 to 50 pg mg(-1). The method was then applied to the analysis of hair samples collected from rats exposed to 12 PAHs at 0.01, 0.1, and 1 mg kg(-1), by intraperitoneal injection, for 28 days. The results of this study confirm that these metabolites can be incorporated in hair after intraperitoneal administration of the corresponding parent compound. Only 20 of the 52 metabolites were actually detected in hair samples and corresponded to nine parent PAHs. The mean concentrations of OH-PAHs in rat hair samples exposed to PAHs at 1 mg kg(-1) ranged from 0.6 +/- 0.2 pg mg(-1) for 8-hydroxybenzo[b]fluoranthene to 6.7 +/- 1.0 pg mg(-1) for 1-hydroxypyrene. The results also demonstrated that hair pigmentation has no influence on the concentration of most OH-PAHs. This animal experiment confirmed the incorporation of PAH metabolites in hair and demonstrated that the method was sufficiently sensitive to detect low levels of exposure to PAHs. These results confirmed the usefulness of hair analysis in the biomonitoring of human exposure to PAHs.