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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

TIMFIE Sampler-A New Time-Integrating, Active, Low-Tech Sampling Device for Quantitative Monitoring of Pesticides in Whole Water

Jonsson, Ove; Paulsson, Elfin; Kreuger, Jenny


The need for inexpensive, time-averaged, quantitative determination of pesticides and other organic pollutants in whole water is not matched by the field sampling procedures available. Our new Time-Integrating, MicroFlow, In-line Extraction (TIMFIE) sampler comprises a low-tech syringe pump driven by a rubber band and connected to a flow restrictor enabling low microliter per minute water flow through a solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridge. This allows target compounds to be continuously extracted in the field over 1 week. The extracted water ends up in the syringe, where sample volume is accurately determined. TIMFIE followed by online SPE-LC-MS/MS determination was validated for 72 selected pesticides, and, except for three compounds, detection limit was 0.1-1 ng/L. In a field study, concentrations in TIMFIE samples and in grab samples were compared. Following TIMFIE sampling, on average 19 pesticides per sample were quantified, compared with nine pesticides per sample with grab sampling, as a result of the extra in-field concentration step. Duplicate TIMFIE sampling showed Pearson's correlation coefficient r = 0.998. Comparing concentrations from TIMFIE sampling to grab sampling resulted in ratios between 0.05 and 16.5 (mean 1.7; r = 0.532), demonstrating a discrepancy between the two sampling strategies and possible underestimation of chronic exposure by grab sampling.

Published in

Environmental Science and Technology
2019, Volume: 53, number: 1, pages: 279-286