In the following work, a new method for the analysis of the phthalate monoesters in human urine was reported. Phthalate monoesters are metabolites generated as a result of phthalate exposure. In compliance with the dictates of Green Analytical Chemistry, a rapid and simple protocol was developed and optimized for the quantification of phthalate monoesters (i.e., monoethyl phthalate, monoisobutyl phthalate, mono-n-butyl phthalate, mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, mono-n-octyl phthalate, monocyclohexyl phthalate, mono-isononyl phthalate) in human urine, which entails preceding derivatization with methyl chloroformate combined with the use of commercial solid phase microextraction and the analysis by gas chromatography-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. The affinity of the derivatized analytes toward five commercial coatings was evaluated, and in terms of analyte extraction, the best results were reached with the use of the divinylbenzene/carboxen/polydimethylsiloxane fiber. The multivariate approach of experimental design was used to seek for the best working conditions of the derivatization reaction and the solid phase microextraction, thus obtaining the optimum response values. The proposed method was validated according to the guidelines issued by the Food and Drug Administration achieving satisfactory values in terms of linearity, sensitivity, matrix effect, intra- and inter-day accuracy, and precision.
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