Research team

Novel mass-spectrometric approaches to investigate human exposure to emerging contaminants. 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2024


Owing to the increasing plastic production, humans are exposed to a rising number of plastic additives. Many of these have been associated with neurotoxicity and adverse effects on the endocrine system. In the past, several new compounds linked to plastics have been identified, which are designated as "contaminants of emerging concern" (CECs). This project aims to identify new CECs derived from plastics. A novel, ultra performant analytical approach based on the hyphenation of liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry and high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-IM-HRMS) will be used for the creation of a database containing collision cross section (CCS) values of known and new CECs. Non-target and suspect screening approaches will be applied for the identification of new CECs in plastic and indoor dust samples. Using in vitro experiments in hepatic systems, Phase I and II metabolites of the new CECs will be identified. Screening of human urine samples will be conducted to confirm the metabolite's occurrence and identify the most relevant biotransformation products in vivo. Furthermore, a quantitative method using LC-MSMS will be developed and validated. Using this method, a proof-of-concept study on a set of 100 human urine samples will be conducted with the purpose to establish time-trends for these new CECs. The results obtained with this workflow will deepen the knowledge about human exposure to CECs and have an influential input on future biomonitoring programs.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project