Atmospheric deposition plays an important role in environmental pollution and human health. However, very few information is available on the presence, in atmospheric particles, of organic priority substances in contrast to inorganic fraction. A method for the extraction and quantification of 20 priority organic substances listed in the European Water Framework Directive in atmospheric particles was developed. This method consists in a combination of gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry and ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry and fluorescence. Optimized pressurized liquid extraction using a hexane/dichloromethane/isopropanol mixture was used as extraction procedure from atmospheric particulate matter. The influence of several extraction experimental factors related to the PLE was investigated. The optimized extraction method (80°C, 40 bar, 10 min, 1 cycle) exhibited average recoveries of target analytes higher than 62%. The method detection limits (MDL) were between 0.3 ng g(-1) and 83 ng g(-1). This extraction method, combined with sensitive analytical techniques, leads to satisfactory reliability, sensitivity, and accuracy. The method was applied to real samples, collected from two urban sites by an atmospheric sampling prototype developed in this study. The first results reveal a systematic presence of PAHs at high levels (ranging from 500 ng g(-1) to 10 μg g(-1)) and a variable and lower presence of pesticides at concentrations below 50 ng g(-1) in the samples.
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