The use of gas chromatography coupled to high-resolution magnetic sector mass spectrometers (GC-HRMS) is well established for dioxin and furan analysis. However, the use of gas chromatography coupled to triple quadrupole (MS/MS) and time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometers with atmospheric pressure ionization (API) and traditional electron ionization (EI) for dioxin and furan analysis is emerging as a viable alternative to GC-HRMS screening. These instruments offer greater versatility in the lab for a wider range of compound identification and quantification as well as improved ease of operation. The instruments utilized in this study included 2 API-MS/MS, 1 traditional EI-MS/MS, an API-quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometer (API-QTOF), and a EI-high-resolution TOF (EI-HRTOF). This study compared these 5 instruments to a GC-HRMS using method detection limit (MDLs) samples for dioxin and furan analysis. Each instrument demonstrated acceptable MDL values for the 17 chlorinated dioxin and furans studied. The API-MS/MS instruments provide the greatest overall improvement in MDL value over the GC-HRMS with a 1.5 to 2-fold improvement. The API-QTOF and EI-TOF demonstrate slight increases in MDL value as compared with the GC-HRMS with a 1.5-fold increase. The 5 instruments studied all demonstrate acceptable MDL values with no MDL for a single congener greater than 5 times that for the GC-HRMS. All 5 instruments offer a viable alternative to GC-HRMS for the analysis of dioxins and furans and should be considered when developing new validated methodologies.
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