Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 9122
Title: Suspect and non-target screening of organic contaminants and potential toxicants in highway runoff and fish tissue with high resolution time of flight mass spectrometry
Author: Bowen Du, Jonathan Lofton, Katherine Peter, Alexander Gipe, C. Andrew James, Jenifer McIntyre, N. L. Scholz, J. E. Baker, Edward Kolodziej
Publication Year: 2017
Journal: Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts

Untreated urban stormwater runoff contributes to poor water quality in receiving waters. To protect ecosystem and human health, identifying toxicants and other important bioactive molecules in complex contaminant mixtures is a challenging, yet important, analytical task. To characterize urban stormwater runoff, we developed analytical methods using liquid chromatography high resolution quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF-MS/MS) to detect toxicants and organic contaminants in highway runoff and in runoff-exposed fish (adult coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch). Processing of paired water and tissue samples facilitated contaminant prioritization and aided investigation of chemical bioavailability and uptake processes. Simple, minimal processing effort solid phase extraction (SPE) and elution procedures were optimized for water samples, and selective pressurized liquid extraction (SPLE) procedures were optimized for fish tissues. Extraction methods were compared by detection of non-target features and target compounds (e.g., quantity and peak area), while minimizing matrix interferences. To integrate biological knowledge and site ecotoxicological data into contaminant screening, suspect screening techniques utilized in-house and commercial databases to focus on potential high risk detections for subsequent confirmation with MS/MS characterization. Presumptive annotations were also screened with an in-house linear regression (logKow vs. retention time) to exclude isobaric compounds. Ethoprophos, prometon, DEET, caffeine, cotinine, and acetanilide were confirmed in highway runoff by reference standard comparison. Acetanilide was also detected in the runoff-exposed fish gill and liver samples, along with large numbers of unidentified detections of stormwater-derived compounds. Further characterization of highway runoff and fish tissues (14 and 19 compounds, respectively with tentative identification by MS/MS data) suggests that many novel or poorly characterized organic contaminants and possible toxicants exist in urban stormwater runoff and exposed biota.  

Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Assess the impacts of toxic chemicals and other pollutants across biological scales, and identify pollution reduction strategies that improve habitat quality.
Characterize the interaction of human use and habitat distribution, quantity and quality.
Official Citation:

Du, B., Lofton, J.M., Peter, K.T., Gipe, A.D., James, C.A., McIntyre, J.K., Scholz, N.L., Baker, J.E., and Kolodziej, E.P. 2017. Suspect and non-target screening of organic contaminants and potential toxicants in highway runoff and fish tissue with high resolution time of flight mass spectrometry. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts, 19:1185-1196.