GC–MS/MS quantification of benzyl salicylate on skin and hair: A novel chemical simulant for human decontamination studies

Thomas James*, Samuel Collins, Richard Amlot, Timothy Marczylo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human studies investigating the efficacy of emergency decontamination protocols for chemical incidents require the use of non-hazardous chemical simulants. Methyl salicylate (MeS) has almost exclusively been used for this purpose. Whilst MeS is a simulant of the chemical warfare agent (CWA) sulphur mustard, it is not an ideal simulant for many other chemical threats with greater persistence and lower volatility. Benzyl salicylate (BeS) has been investigated here as a low toxicity simulant for lower volatility, persistent chemical threat agents and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs). To evaluate the suitability of BeS as a simulant for human decontamination studies a gas chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry method was designed, optimised and validated, for the analysis of human skin and hair. Quantification was achieved using isotope-dilution, EI and collision-induced dissociation and multiple reaction monitoring for both qualifier and quantifier ion transitions. The mass transitions were m/z 285 → 91 and m/z 210 → 181, respectively for the quantifier and qualifier ions of BeS, and m/z 289 → 91 and m/z 214 → 185 for the quantifier and qualifier ions for the BeS-d4 internal standard, respectively. The method exhibited excellent coefficients of determination (R2 = 0.9992–0.9999) with LOD and LOQ values at 0.023 ng/ml and 0.23 ng/ml. Across three Quality Controls (QCs), 11.5 ng/ml, 115 ng/ml and 1150 ng/ml) average accuracy (intra-day 95.6–100.3%, inter-day 98.5–104.91%) and precision (intra-day RSD (%) 2–13.7%, inter-day RSD (%) 3.3–8.8%) were determined. The validated method was applied in a proof of principle volunteer study for the determination of total BeS recovered from skin and hair. The average total BeS recovery after 70 min was 37.9% from skin and there was a significant increase between baseline and post-intervention levels for hair. These data demonstrate that BeS is an appropriate simulant for persistent chemicals and that the analytical method employed here is suitable for BeS analysis in human studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121818
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Volume1129
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper is based on independent research commissioned and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme ( PR‐ST‐1015‐10016 ). Richard Amlôt is part‐funded by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King's College London in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Tim Marczylo is part-funded by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Health Impacts of Environmental Hazards. The views expressed in the publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care, ‘arms’ length bodies or other Government departments.

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Louise Davidson, Natalie Williams, Emily Orchard and Felicity Southworth for their assistance in collecting the samples in the human study. This paper is based on independent research commissioned and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Policy Research Programme (PR?ST?1015?10016). Richard Aml?t is part?funded by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King's College London in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Tim Marczylo is part-funded by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Health Impacts of Environmental Hazards. The views expressed in the publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care, ?arms? length bodies or other Government departments.

Keywords

  • Benzyl salicylate
  • Chemical warfare agent
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Methyl salicylate
  • Simulant

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'GC–MS/MS quantification of benzyl salicylate on skin and hair: A novel chemical simulant for human decontamination studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this