Analysis of Oestrogens in Water: Supervision of Performance Tests

February 2004


This report covers the performance testing of an analytical method for the determination of three oestrogenic compounds in demineralised and drinking water matrices. Three laboratories participated in the performance testing.

The method incorporates the concentration of organic compounds by solid phase extraction, with clean-up by high performance liquid chromatography followed by derivatisation of the oestrogens. The derivatised compounds are separated and identified by gas-chromatography with single quadrupole mass spectrometric detection.

The data was analysed using Analysis of Variance. Estimates of Bias were also carried out and calculations made of the limit of detection for each of the three oestrogens. Limits of detection ranged from approximately 0.3ngl-1 to 0.6ngl-1 for the three oestrogens in demineralised water.

In a separate study, funded by DWI (see Appendix 9), a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) method has been developed. Preliminary work suggests that a lower limit of detection for oestrogens will be achievable (approximately 0.1ngl-1, following the development of improved extraction efficiency of larger sample volumes, using this technology.

Copies of this report may be available as an Acrobat pdf download under the 'Post 2000 Reports' heading on the DWI website.