Dried blood spots for the identification of bioaccumulating organic compounds: Current challenges and future perspectives
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The exposome is a concept that underlines the critical relationship between health and environmental exposures, including environmental toxicants. Currently, most environmental exposures that contribute to the exposome have not been characterized. Dried-blood spots (DBS) offer a cost-effective, reliable approach to characterize the blood exposome, which consists of diverse endogenous and exogenous chemicals, including persistent and bioaccumulating organic compounds. Current challenges involve prioritizing the identification by state-of-the-art mass spectrometry of likely up to tens of thousands of compounds present in blood; characterizing substances that represent a mixture of myriad constituent compounds; and detecting trace level contaminants, especially in quantity-limited matrices like DBS. This contribution reviews recent trends in DBS analysis of chemical pollutants and highlights the need for continued research in analytical chemistry to advance the field of exposomics.