Alkylphenols (APs) and bisphenols (BPs) are hazardous organic contaminants both for the environment and for mammals, including humans, where they act as endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs) with estrogenic and cancerogenic activity. APs are toxic at very low concentrations and BPA is specifically considered a non-steroidal xenoestrogen. EDCs are present in the environment, and so the population is chronically exposed, being the diet the main exposure source. Procedures for the determination of APs and BPs in human and biological samples are scarce; therefore, a procedure for the determination of six APs and three BPs in seven human organs and tissues (kidney, liver, heart, lung, spleen, brain and abdominal fat) obtained from eight autopsies is proposed. Previously ground samples were treated by salt-assisted liquid-liquid extraction (SALLE) for isolation of the analytes. Stir bar sorptive extraction was used to preconcentrate the analytes. Due to the different extraction conditions of BPs (derivatization using acetic anhydride was required) and APs (no derivatization is required) two stir sbar of PDMS were necessary (dual SBSE). Finally, thermal desorption (TD) was used as the injector system in combination with gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Quantification limits between 0.050 and 4.0 ng g-1 for APs and from 0.26 to 2.6 ng g-1 for BPs were calculated. Obtained results were processed by ANOVA tests to study the behavior and bioaccumulation of these compounds in human tissues or organs. In addition, discriminant analysis detected age- and sex-dependent differences in bioaccumulation.
The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia (CARM, Fundación Seneca, Project 19888/GERM/15), the Spanish MICINN (PGC2018-098363-B-I00) and the European Commission (FEDER/ERDF). M. Pastor-Belda acknowledges a fellowship from Fundación Séneca, CARM.