Liquid Chromatography Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometric (LC-ESIMS) and Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometric (DESIMS) Identification of Chemical Warfare Agents in Consumer Products


  1. D’Agostino, P.A.
  2. Chenier, C.L.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Terrorist use of chemical warfare agents could involve contamination of consumer products with chemical warfare agents or other toxic chemicals. Liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) and desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) have been used at DRDC Suffield for the identification of chemical warfare agents and both approaches were evaluated for the determination of chemical warfare agents in spiked consumer products. Three consumer products, bottled water, canola oil and corn meal, were selected as candidates for the evaluation and comparative purposes. Each of these media was contaminated with low ìg/g levels of chemical warfare agents, levels typically used for evaluation purposes by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In house LC-ESI-MS and LC-ESI-MS/MS methods were evaluated for the determination of chemical warfare agents in spiked bottled water samples. The headspaces above spiked corn meal and canola oil samples were sampled with SPME fibers and the fibers were analysed by DESI-MS and DESI-MS/MS. MS data for all the spiked compounds were acquired in the continuum mode with a resolution of 8000, which typically resulted in mass measurement errors of 0.002 Da or less. Application of the developed sample handling and analysis methodologies is anticipated during forensic or other investigations where consumer products have been deliberately contaminated with chemical warfare agents.
Liquid chromatography;Electrospray ionization;Mass spectrometry;Desorption electrospray ionization;Chemical warfare agents;Consumer products;Canola oil;Corn meal;Bottled water
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TR-2007-074 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Jun 2007
Number of Pages

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