Screening hydrolysis products of sulfur mustard agents by high-performance liquid chromatography with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry detection
Sulfur mustard (HD), bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide, is one of a class of mustard agents which are chemical warfare agents. The main chemical warfare hydrolysis degradation products of sulfur mustards are: thiodiglycol, bis(2-hydroxyethylthio)methane, 1,2-bis(2-hydroxyethylthio)ethane, 1,3-bis(2-hydroxyethylthio)propane, and 1,4-bis(2-hydroxyethylthio)butane. The aim of this study is to identify these five hydrolysis degradation products utilizing reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for element-specific sulfur detection using a collision/reaction cell and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry to confirm the identification. To date, this is the first study utilizing ICP-MS with 32S element-specific detection for the analysis of vesicant chemical warfare agent degradation products.