Section 50
Chapter 49,480

Liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometric and desorption electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometric analysis of chemical warfare agents in office media typically collected during a forensic investigation

D'Agostino, P.A.; Hancock, J.R.; Chenier, C.L.; Lepage, C.R.Jackson.

Journal of Chromatography. a 1110(1-2): 86-94


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9673
PMID: 16480731
DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2006.01.083
Accession: 049479231

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Most prior analytical studies have dealt with the determination of chemical warfare agents in environmental or biological matrices that would typically be collected following battlefield use or in support of the Chemical Weapons Convention. These methods may be useful for some investigations, but may not be practical for indoor forensic investigations where chemical warfare agent use is suspected. There is a need for analytical methods for chemical warfare agent identification in office media, including flooring, wall surfaces, office fabrics and paper products, which would typically be collected in an office environment during forensic investigations. During this study, typical office environment media were spiked at the 4-20microg/g level with either a complex munitions grade sample of tabun (GA) or with a standard containing the three nerve agents, sarin (GB), cyclohexyl methylphosphonofluoridate (GF), soman (GD) and the nerve agent simulant, triethyl phosphate (TEP), to evaluate the potentials of liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) and liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) for forensic purposes. An emerging technique, desorption electrospray ionization (DESI-MS/MS), was also investigated for the direct determination of TEP, GB and GD sampled onto solid phase microextraction (SPME) fibers exposed to spiked office media. The spiked chemical warfare agents were recovered with varying efficiencies during this study, but in all cases sufficient chemical warfare agent was recovered for mass spectrometric identification purposes. Full high resolution mass spectra were acquired for all the chemical warfare agents in the continuum mode, which typically resulted in mass measurement errors of 0.001Da or less.

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