A gas chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) method is developed to determine 18 representative polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in cosmetics, including Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and others. The method offers high sensitivity and selectivity under selected reaction monitoring (SRM) mode to satisfy the requirements of both quantitation and qualitation. The extraction solvent system used in this study is acetone/hexane 1:1 (v/v) and other purification procedure is unnecessary. The linearities of 18 PAHs are validated in different concentration in the range of 0.25–20 ng/mL individually with coefficient correlation (r) higher than 0.996. The recoveries for spiking 3 different concentrations are from 87.40% to 120.44% for 18 PAHs and the coefficient of variation (CV) are below 12.32%. Limit of quantification (LOQ) of 18 PAHs is in the range of 0.05–0.2 mg/kg. A matrix enhancement effect is observed and can be compensated with deuterated internal standard. The method has been successfully applied to 73 samples, over 40 of them are lipsticks. The results show none of the samples detect Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) and Dibenzo[a,h]anthracene (DBA), both are classified as the most carcinogenic. 8 PAHs are detected and the average value between 0.08 and 0.27 mg/kg. This study offers a sensitive and simple method to analyze 18 representative PAHs successfully and can be applied to cosmetic products and raw materials. © 2019

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