A solid-phase extraction (SPE) method was developed for the determination of organochlorine pesticides, namely aldrin, alpha-BHC, beta-BHC, delta-BHC, dieldrin, endosulfan I, endosulfan II, endosulfan sulfate, endrin, endrin aldehyde, lindane, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, 4,4’-DDD, 4,4’-DDE and 4,4’- DDT in water. The effect of extraction conditions, such as the addition of sodium chloride and methanol to the sample prior to loading was studied. The sample was concentrated by a plain polystyrene-divinylbenzene resin, and the extract was eluted by ethyl acetate. Qualification and quantification of the target pesticides were performedby gas chromatography/ mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in the full-scan and selected ion-monitoring mode, respectively, and for better detection of pesticides in field samples the mass spectrometer was altered from electron ionization (EI) to chemical ionization mode (CI). The repeatability of the method for MilliQ-water fortified with pesticides at a level of 0.1 to 0.6 µg/l ranged from 8 to 18%, and the obtained recoveries ranged from 67 to 135%.
The method was evaluated for the determination of organochlorine pesticides in fourteen surface- and groundwater samples taken from locations along King Talal Dam, King Abdullah Canal and Zarqa River in the Jordan Valley. The limit of detection of the pesticides residues in 500-ml field water samples ranged from 0.0009 to 15.7 ng/l. The obtained results confirmed the presence of trace amounts of some organochlorine pesticides in the analyzed samples, i.e. lindane and endosulfan compounds.