Extending analysis of environmental pollutants in human urine towards screening for suspected compounds.
Today there is a large difference in the number of chemicals of commerce and the number of chemicals being monitored in environmental and human samples. During the last decades suspect screening methods have been developed to increase the number of monitored analytes. Peaks detected during high resolution mass spectrometry full scan measurements are compared to a list of suspect chemicals with known exact masses. These methods, however, have so far focused on environmental samples. Thus we present a method development for a suspect screening of human urine samples. The sample preparation techniques and instrumental analysis were tested by target chemicals with a wide range of properties. A combination of direct injection and QuEChERS extraction followed by liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry was able to detect 33 of the 40 spiked target compounds at 30-120% absolute recovery. For suspect evaluation peaks were deconvoluted and aligned with the software MZmine followed by R script processing. Comparing detected and in-silico fragmentation, nine suspect chemicals could be tentatively identified in a pooled human urine sample and four of these were confirmed by a reference standard.
Spatial Variation of Aerosol Chemical Composition and Organic Components Identified by Positive Matrix Factorization in the Barcelona Region
The spatial distribution of PM1 components in the Barcelona metropolitan area was investigated using on-road mobile measurements of atmospheric particle- and gas-phase compounds during the DAURE campaign in March 2009. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) applied to organic aerosol (OA) data yielded 5 factors: hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA), cooking OA (COA), biomass burning OA (BBOA), and low volatility and semivolatile oxygenated OA (LV-OOA and SV-OOA). The area under investigation (similar to 500 km(2)) was divided into six zones (city center, harbor, industrial area, precoastal depression, 2 mountain ranges) for measurements and data analysis. Mean zonal OA concentrations are 4.9-9.5 mu g m(-3). The area is heavily impacted by local primary emissions (HOA 14-38%, COA 10-18%, BBOA 10-12% of OA); concentrations of traffic-related components, especially black carbon, are biased high due to the on-road nature of the measurements. The formation of secondary OA adds more than half of the OA burden outside the city center (SV-OOA 14-40%, LV-OOA 17-42% of OA). A case study of one measurement drive from the shore to the precoastal mountain range furthest downwind of the city center indicates the importance of nonfossil over anthropogenic secondary OA based on OA/CO.
The white-light humidified optical particle spectrometer (WHOPS): a novel airborne system to characterize aerosol hygroscopicity
Aerosol particles experience hygroscopic growth at enhanced relative humidity (RH), which leads to changes in their optical properties. We developed the white-light humidified optical particle spectrometer (WHOPS), a new instrument to investigate the particles' hygroscopic growth. Here we present a detailed technical description and characterization of the WHOPS in laboratory and field experiments. The WHOPS consists of a differential mobility analyzer, a humidifier/bypass and a white-light aerosol spectrometer (WELAS) connected in series to provide fast measurements of particle hygroscopicity at subsaturated RH and optical properties on airborne platforms. The WELAS employs a white-light source to minimize ambiguities in the optical particle sizing. In contrast to other hygroscopicity instruments, the WHOPS retrieves information of relatively large particles (i.e., diameter D > 280 nm), therefore investigating the more optically relevant size ranges.
The effective index of refraction of the dry particles is retrieved from the optical diameter measured for size-selected aerosol samples with a well-defined dry mobility diameter. The data analysis approach for the optical sizing and retrieval of the index of refraction was extensively tested in laboratory experiments with polystyrene latex size standards and ammonium sulfate particles of different diameters. The hygroscopic growth factor (GF) distribution and aerosol mixing state is inferred from the optical size distribution measured for the size-selected and humidified aerosol sample. Laboratory experiments with pure ammonium sulfate particles revealed good agreement with Köhler theory (mean bias of ~3% and maximal deviation of 8% for GFs at RH = 95%).
During first airborne measurements in the Netherlands, GFs (mean value of the GF distribution) at RH = 95% between 1.79 and 2.43 with a median of 2.02 were observed for particles with a dry diameter of 500 nm. This corresponds to hygroscopicity parameters (κ) between 0.25 and 0.75 with a median of 0.38. The GF distributions indicate externally mixed particles covering the whole range of GFs between ~1.0 and 3.0. On average, ~74% of the 500 nm particles had GFs > 1.5, ~15% had GF < 1.1 and the remaining ~1% showed values of 1.1 < GF < 1.5. The more hygroscopic mode sometimes peaked at GF > 2, indicating influence of sea-salt particles, consistent with previous ground-based particle hygroscopicity measurements in this area. The mean dry effective index of refraction for 500 nm particles was found to be rather constant with a value of 1.42 ± 0.04 (mean ± 1SD).
Differences in decadal trends of atmospheric mercury between the Arctic and northern mid-latitudes suggest a decline in Arctic Ocean mercury
Atmospheric mercury (Hg) in the Arctic shows much weaker or insignificant annual declines relative to northern mid-latitudes over the past decade (2000-2009), but with strong seasonality in trends. We use a global ocean-atmosphere model of Hg (GEOS-Chem) to simulate these observed trends and determine the driving environmental variables. The atmospheric decline at northern mid-latitudes can largely be explained by decreasing North Atlantic oceanic evasion. The mid-latitude atmospheric signal propagates to the Arctic but is there countered by rapid Arctic warming and declining sea ice, which suppresses deposition and promotes oceanic evasion over the Arctic Ocean. The resulting simulation implies a decline of Hg in the Arctic surface ocean that we estimate to be -0.67% yr-1 over the study period. Rapid Arctic warming and declining sea ice are projected for future decades and would drive a sustained decline in Arctic Ocean Hg, potentially alleviating the methylmercury exposure risk for northern populations.
Aspartic protease inhibitors containing tertiary alcohol transition-state mimics
Effects-Directed Analysis of Dissolved Organic Compounds in Oil Sands Process-Affected Water
Acute toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is caused by its complex mixture of bitumen-derived organics, but the specific chemical classes that are most toxic have not been demonstrated. Here, effects-directed analysis was used to determine the most acutely toxic chemical classes in OSPW collected from the world's first oil sands end-pit lake. Three sequential rounds of fractionation, chemical analysis (ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry), and acute toxicity testing (96 h fathead minnow embryo lethality and IS min Microtox bioassay) were conducted. Following primary fractionation, toxicity was primarily attributable to the neutral extractable fraction (F1-NE), containing 27% of original organics mass. In secondary fractionation, F1-NE was subfractionated by alkaline water washing, and toxicity was primarily isolated to the ionizable fraction (F2-NE2), containing 18.5% of the original organic mass. In the final round, chromatographic subfractionation of F2-NE2 resulted in two toxic fractions, with the most potent (F3-NE2a, 11% of original organic mass) containing predominantly naphthenic acids (O-2(-)). The less-toxic fraction (F3-NE2b, 8% of original organic mass) contained predominantly nonacid species (O+, O-2(+), SO+, NO+). Evidence supports naphthenic acids as among the most acutely toxic chemical classes in OSPW, but nonacidic species also contribute to acute toxicity of OSPW.
Organic aerosol processing in tropical deep convective clouds: Development of a new model (CRM-ORG) and implications for sources of particle number
The difficulty in assessing interactions between atmospheric particles and clouds is due in part to the chemical complexity of the particles and to the wide range of length and timescales of processes occurring simultaneously during a cloud event. The new Cloud-Resolving Model with Organics (CRM-ORG) addresses these interactions by explicitly predicting the formation, transport, uptake, and re-release of surrogate organic compounds consistent with the volatility basis set framework within a nonhydrostatic, three-dimensional cloud-resolving model. CRM-ORG incorporates photochemical production, explicit condensation/evaporation of organic and inorganic vapors, and a comprehensive set of four different mechanisms describing particle formation from organic vapors and sulfuric acid. We simulate two deep convective cloud events over the Amazon rain forest in March 1998 and compare modeled particle size distributions with airborne observations made during the time period. The model predictions agree well with the observations for Aitken mode particles in the convective outflow (10-14 km) but underpredict nucleation mode particles by a factor of 20. A strong in-cloud particle formation process from organic vapors alone is necessary to reproduce even relatively low ultrafine particle number concentrations (similar to 1500 cm(-3)). Sensitivity tests with variable initial aerosol loading and initial vertical aerosol profile demonstrate the complexity of particle redistribution and net gain or loss in the cloud. In-cloud particle number concentrations could be enhanced by as much as a factor of 3 over the base case simulation in the cloud outflow but were never reduced by more than a factor of 2 lower than the base. Additional sensitivity cases emphasize the need for constrained estimates of surface tension and affinity of organic vapors to ice surfaces. When temperature-dependent organic surface tension is introduced to the new particle formation mechanisms, the number concentration of particles decreases by 60% in the cloud outflow. These uncertainties are discussed in light of the other prominent challenges for understanding the interactions between organic aerosols and clouds. Recommendations for future theoretical, laboratory, and field work are proposed.