Abstract— A novel ultra-performance liquid chromatography‒mass spectrometry (UPLC‒MS) method was developed for the determination of herbicide atrazine (ATR) and its principal metabolites namely deisopropylatrazine (DIA), deethylatrazine (DEA) and hydroxyatrazine (HA) in soils. The limit of detection ranged from 0.06 μg kg‒1 (DEA) to 0.25 μg kg‒1 (HA). Recoveries for the four target analytes at three spiked levels ranged from 73.2 to 110% with relative standard deviation of 5.1‒8.1%. In the cases of the three control soil samples spiked with ATR were treated for 60d, the sum content of the three degraded products is 3, 6.4, and 6.8 times greater than ATR residue, respectively. Analyzing 80 soil samples from four counties evaluated this method. ATR of 1.1‒125 μg kg‒1 in 80 of 80 samples, ATR of 0.5‒7.8 μg kg‒1 in 39 of 80 samples, and DIA of 0.5 and 0.6 μg kg‒1 in 2 of 80 samples were found. The proposed method can ensure the rapid and highly sensitive analysis of atrazine and its degradation products in soil, and can provide a direction for proper application of atrazine and a base for evaluating their hazards to the environment.
Keywords— Atrazine residue, degradation products, soil, ultra performance liquid chromatography‒mass spectrometry.
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