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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Suspect and Nontargeted Strategies to Investigate in Vitro Human Biotransformation Products of Emerging Environmental Contaminants: The Benzotriazoles

Baduel, Christine; Lai, Foon Yin; van Nuijs, Alexander L. N.; Covaci, Adrian


Benzotriazole derivatives (BTRs) are high production volume chemicals involved in a wide range of applications and consumer products resulting in their ubiquitous presence in environmental matrices. Yet, the human exposure assessment to these chemicals is limited since it is based only on the analysis of parent compounds in biological matrices. The objective of this study was to investigate the in vitro human biotransformation for three widely used BTRs and to stepwise examine the role of Phase I and II enzymes (cytochrome P450 (CYP), uridine glucuronic acid transferase (UGT), and sulfotransferase (SULT)) in their biotransformation. Extracts with generated biotransformation products (bioTPs) were analyzed using liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC-QTOF-MS), followed by their identification based on a workflow combining suspect and nontargeted strategies. Ten bioTPs were identified for 1H-benzotriazole, 14 for tolyltriazole, and 14 for 5-chloro-1-H-benzotriazole. Most of the proposed bioTPs were identified and structurally elucidated for the first time. Based on these findings, possible bioTPs and metabolic transformation pathways were subsequently predicted for other structurally close BTR derivatives. Our findings provide new identified in vitro biotransformation products for future biomonitoring studies and emphasize that it is important to investigate the biotransformation pathway to assess overall exposure to xenobiotics.

Published in

Environmental Science and Technology
2019, Volume: 53, number: 17, pages: 10462-10469

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG3 Good health and well-being
    SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Pharmacology and Toxicology
    Environmental Sciences

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