Mass spectrometry analysis of a ubiquitous tire rubber-derived quinone in the environment

Guodong Cao, Jing Zhang, Wei Wang, Pengfei Wu, Yi Ru, Zongwei Cai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


N-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-N′-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine (6PPD) is a globally ubiquitous tire rubber antioxidant. Its transformation product, 6PPD-quinone, has been identified as a potent toxicant responsible for the acute mortality of coho salmon in Pacific Northwest during storm events, a phenomenon called “urban runoff mortality syndrome” that persists for decades. As a consequence, there has been mounting interest in understanding the occurrence, environmental fate and biotoxicity of this emerging contaminant. In this article, we review the current status of mass spectrometry (MS) as a preeminent analytical tool for analysis of 6PPD-quinone across multiple environmental compartments, including urban road runoff and watersheds, dust, and fine particulate matters. Novel strategies and refinements for MS data acquisition and the synergistic use of chromatographic techniques for enhanced identification and quantification are introduced. Concurrently, we summary the technical dissimilarities between currently available methods regarding their instrumental settings, data acquisition modes, and analytical performance. In addition, we highlight the utility of MS-based methodologies for interrogation of toxicological effects of 6PPD-quinone in living organisms, especially aquatic species. Finally, we comment on the foreseen applications of MS-based techniques for better understanding the environmental relevance, ecological toxicity, and human exposure risks of this emerging contaminant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116756
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

User-Defined Keywords

  • 6PPD-quinone
  • Ecotoxicological risks
  • Environmental matrices
  • Human exposure
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Transformation products


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