Analysis of PAHs in smokeless tobacco by GC-MS/MS
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a large group of compounds; several of which are classified as potentially carcinogenic. Sixteen PAHs are listed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "Established List for Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents in Tobacco Products and Tobacco Smoke". Therefore, a sensitive and reliable analysis method for PAHs is important for many tobacco industry laboratories.
In this presentation, a gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) method for the analysis of 19 PAHs, including naphthalene, in smokeless tobacco will be presented. Additionally, results from a collaborative pre-study will be presented (naphthalene not included).
PAHs are extracted for 30 min from the sample using methanol after the addition of deuterium-labelled internal standards. The extract is centrifuged and a small aliquot is analysed for napthalene using headspace GC-MS/MS. The rest of the extract is cleaned using SPE and analysed for 18 PAHs using GC-MS/MS. The method is a modification and expansion of CRM 82 that is used for the analysis of B[a]P. The modifications include the removal of the laborious filtration and evaporation stages. The limit of quantification was determined to range from 0.6 ng/g to 5 ng/g.
The method has been validated for snus, moist snuff and chewing tobacco and a CORESTA collaborative study is currently ongoing to establish the performance characteristics and includes a wider application area (e.g. cigarette and cigar fillers).
To conclude; this is a sensitive and non-laborious method that includes all the PAHs on the “FDA-list”.