Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Improved method to measure urinary alkoxyacetic acids.
  1. T S Shih,
  2. J S Chou,
  3. C Y Chen,
  4. T J Smith
  1. Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Council of Labor Affairs, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


    OBJECTIVES: To simplify the current preparation of samples, and to improve the specificity and reliability of the conventional analytical methods to measure urinary alkoxyacetic acids. METHODS: Samples containing alkoxyacetic acids including methoxy, ethoxy, and butoxyacetic acids (MAA, EAA, and BAA) were acidified with HCl and extracted with a mixed solvent of methylene chloride and isopropyl alcohol, then analysed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). RESULTS: Optimal results were obtained when pH was 1.05-1.45, the ratio of methylene chloride and isopropyl alcohol was 2:1, and when extraction time was 10 minutes. Over the concentration range 0.3-200 micrograms/ml, MAA, EAA, and BAA could be determined with a pooled coefficient of variation (nine concentrations, six replicate samples) of 5.55%, 6.37%, and 6.41%, respectively. Urine samples were stable for at least 5 months and 3 freeze-thaw cycles at -20 degrees C. The limits of detection of MAA, EAA, and BAA were 0.055, 0.183, and 0.009 microgram/ml, respectively. The matrix effect of urine samples was negligible for MAA and EAA, but were marginally significant for BAA. The average recoveries of alkoxyacetic acids were 99%-101%. In urine samples MAA from 15 exposed workers showed a strong linear correlation (r = 0.999, slope = 1.01) between the new GC/MS method and Sakai's GC method. CONCLUSIONS: The simplified non-derivatisation pretreatment of samples coupled with GC/MS can provide a specific, sensitive, simple, safe, and reliable method for the biological monitoring of occupational exposure of ethylene glycol ethers.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.