Nitrosamines are often highly carcinogenic and yet they are surprisingly common. They are formed as by-products in a variety of industrial processes and carbon capture technologies. They are also found in tobacco (even before it is smoked!), cosmetics, and are formed when certain foods are cooked – most notably barbecued meats.
A couple of years ago, we published a paper in the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry that demonstrated rapid, high-sensitivity analysis of eight nitrosamines using Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS). The table eight summarize these nitrosamines and provides an overview of their occurrence in several, diverse applications.
The figure below shows the SIFT-MS full-scan mass spectrum of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), with product ions at 75 for H3O+ and 74 for NO+ and O2+. Sub-part-per-billion (by volume) detection limits are readily achievable for all of these nitrosamines within a matter of seconds.
You can obtain a copy of the paper from the publisher, Elsevier.