Pyrethroid pesticide metabolite, 3-PBA, in soils: method development and application to real agricultural soils

Idalina Bragança, Paulo C. Lemos, Cristina Delerue-Matos, Valentina F. Domingues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


3-Phenoxybenzoic acid (3-PBA) is a shared metabolite of several synthetic pyrethroid pesticides (SPs) resulting from environmental degradation of parent compounds and thus occurs frequently as a residue in samples. Hence, the importance of 3-PBA evaluation after pyrethroid application. There is a gap of analytical methods to determine 3-PBA in soil samples. Therefore, an analytical method that combines the solid-phase extraction (SPE) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS) detection has been developed for the determination of 3-PBA in soil samples. The analytical method was validated in terms of linearity, sensitivity, intra- and inter-day batch precisions, recoveries, and quantification limits. An SPE method using a Strata X cartridge allows obtaining limits of detection and quantification equal to 4.0 and 13.3 ng g−1, respectively. Under optimized conditions, the method average recovery levels ranged from 70.3 to 93.5% with a relative standard deviation below 3.4%. Method intra- and inter-day precision was under 5.0 and 4.8%, respectively. The developed method was applied to 11 agricultural soil samples in the north of Portugal. The developed methodology allowed for the determination of the pyrethroid metabolite, 3-PBA, in agricultural soil samples at levels of few ng g−1. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2987-2997
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number3
Early online date30 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019


  • 3-phenoxybenzoic acid
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
  • Soils
  • Solid-phase extraction


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