Pesticides are extensively used in modern agriculture, which could lead to serious consequences due to their biomagnification and persistent nature. Several governments require their analysis in environmental samples. Microwave assisted solvent extraction is a well-established sample preparation technique applied in several official methods. Milestone’s ETHOS X equipped with fastEX-24 rotor was used in this study to prove its efficacy in the extraction of pesticides from environmental matrices.
Despite their fundamental use in the modern agriculture, pesticides can cause neurological damage, endocrine disorders, and have acute and chronic health effects on human (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Moreover, some of these chemicals belong to the class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) with high persistence in the environment (www.pops.int). EPA 3546 outlines the procedure for extracting water insoluble or slightly water-soluble organic compounds from soils, clays, sediments, sludges, and solid wastes. EPA 3546 is a specific method for Microwave Assisted Solvent Extraction (MASE), a well-established sample preparation technique that enables extractions with reduced solvent volume and time. This application note represents a guideline for the extraction of the priority pesticides from both standard reference materials and spiked materials using the official method EPA 3546.