Bienvenu et al., 2021

Bienvenu, J. F., Belanger, P., Gaudreau, E., Provencher, G., & Fleury, N.; “Determination of glyphosate, glufosinate and their major metabolites in urine by the UPLC-MS/MS method applicable to biomonitoring and epidemiological studies;” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2021; DOI: 10.1007/s00216-021-03194-x.


The preoccupation concerning glyphosate (GLYP) has rapidly grown over recent years, and the availability of genetically modified crops that are resistant to GLYP or glufosinate (GLUF) has increased the use of these herbicides. The debate surrounding the carcinogenicity of GLYP has raised interest and the desire to gain information on the level of exposure of the population. GLYP and aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) are commonly simultaneously analysed. GLUF is sometimes also monitored, but its major metabolite, 3-[hydroxy(methyl)phosphinoyl]propionic acid (3MPPA), is rarely present in the method. Using a pentafluorobenzyl derivative to extract the analytes from human urine, we present a method that contains four important analytes to monitor human exposure to GLYP and GLUF. The use of the flash freeze technique speeds up the extraction process and requires less organic solvent than conventional liquid-liquid extraction. The limits of detection in the low mug/L range enable the use of this method for epidemiological studies. The results obtained for 35 volunteers from the Quebec City area are presented with the results from multiple interlaboratory comparisons (G-EQUAS, HBM4EU and OSEQAS). This methodology is currently being used in the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC-ENDO) study and in the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS).