Chemistry

characterisation of carbofuran

Every year dozens of poisoned birds of prey (eagles, falcons, moose, etc.), carnivores (otters, martens, foxes, etc.), as well as domestic dogs and cats are found in the Czech Republic. In addition to endangering animal populations and cruelty, deliberate poisoning poses a significant safety risk. However, the clearance rate for these acts is unfortunately very low.

The most commonly used poison is carbofuran, which is the focus of our research. The aim of the study is to optimise analytical methods, in particular preparative extraction and purification procedures and subsequent analytical determination.

Non-targeted analyses of available commercial preparations containing carbofuran (different manufacturers, batches, case samples) can provide information on the characterisation of the by-products present in each manufactured compound (by-products, precursors, degradation products), forming a kind of ‘fingerprint’ of the manufacturer and batch.

The comparison of the products or the composition of their by-products could be used in the future as indirect evidence, for example, when deciding whether a product found on a suspect corresponds to the product with which the animals were poisoned. The team is working on optimising methods for pesticide detection using mass spectrometry, high-resolution spectrometry and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with high-resolution mass detection (isotope envelope tracking).

Contact person: prof. RNDr. Tomáš Cajthaml, Ph.D. DSc., tomas.cajthaml@natur.cuni.cz