Development and validation of an HPLC method for the determination of endocrine disruptors bisphenol A and benzophenone in thermochromic printing inks

<p>The endocrine disruptors bisphenol A (BPA) and benzophenone (BFN) could be important ingredients in thermochromic printing inks in significant amounts. Due to patent protection and use of the inks, manufacturers are not obliged to state their precise chemical composition. These substances in increasingly used thermochromic printing inks present a hazard for human health and environment in the case of inappropriate application and waste disposal. In this work we enabled identification of the inks that contain these hazardous substances by developing a new method for the analysis of BPA and BFN in thermochromic printing inks. The method is based on the reversed-phase liquid chromatography (LC) with UV detection at 226 and 254 nm. Ultrasound-assisted sample extraction in methanol was proven to be the most suitable and effective among several other solvents. The method was completely validated with satisfactory results. The specificity of the method was proven by the additional LC–tandem mass spectrometry analysis. A representative group of 15 ink samples from various manufacturers, curing and printing modes was analyzed. BPA was found in three samples with mass fractions of about 2% while BFN was found in two samples with mass fractions of 0.34 and 0.66%.</p>