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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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J Sep Sci 2013 Jun;36(11):1781-7

Rapid determination of parabens in personal care products by stable isotope gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry with dynamic selected reaction monitoring.

Wang PG, Zhou W


In this study, a rapid and sensitive analytical method for the determination of methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butyl esters of para-hydroxy benzoic acid (parabens) in personal care products was developed and fully validated. Test portions were extracted with methanol followed by vortexing, sonication, centrifugation and filtration without derivatization. The four parabens were quantified by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in the electron ionization mode. Four corresponding isotopically labeled parabens were selected as internal standards, which were added at the beginning of the sample preparation and used to correct for recovery and matrix effects. Sensitivity, extraction efficiency, and recovery of the respective analytes were evaluated. The coefficients of determination (r2 ) were all greater than 0.995 for the four parabens investigated. The recoveries ranged from 97% to 107% at three spiked levels and a one-time (single) extraction efficiency greater than 97% was obtained. This method has been applied to screen twenty-six personal care products. This is the first time that a unique gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method with dynamic selected reaction monitoring and confirmation of analytes has been used to determine these parabens in cosmetic personal care products.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #23494853 DOI: 10.1002/jssc.201201098
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Food
Entry Created: 2013-03-16 Entry Last Modified: 2013-07-14