This article reports research that developed and optimized a surface-wipe collection and extraction method for 17 fentanyls and 10 common fentanyl adulterants from a non-porous surface and quantitated the amount of each compound collected with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.
Illicit use of the potent opioid fentanyl and its analogs (fentanyls) are on the rise in the United States. As use increases, drug production tends to also increase, leading to more locations being contaminated with the potentially lethal substance. Because fentanyl-contaminated locations may present a risk to the public, a method for sampling, identifying, and quantitating these fentanyls from surfaces is needed. In the current research, the final, optimized surface-wipe method resulted in an average collection and extraction efficiency (±SD) of 62.0 (±14.0) percent, with a range of 34.1 (±2.6) – 82.5 (±9.6) percent. Although legislation has yet to be implemented regarding remediation levels for fentanyl-contaminated locations, when such legislation is drafted, the method reported here can be implemented to determine the safety of these locations prior to and after decontamination has occurred. (publisher abstract modified)