Effect-directed analysis has been applied to a river sediment sample of concern to identify the compounds responsible for the observed effects in an in vitro (anti-)androgenicity assay. For identification after non-target analysis performed on a high-resolution LTQ-Orbitrap, we developed a de novo identification strategy including physico-chemical parameters derived from the effect-directed analysis approach. With this identification strategy, we were able to handle the immense amount of data produced by non-target accurate mass analysis. The effect-directed analysis approach, together with the identification strategy, led to the successful identification of eight androgen-disrupting compounds belonging to very diverse compound classes: an oxygenated polyaromatic hydrocarbon, organophosphates, musks, and steroids. This is one of the first studies in the field of environmental analysis dealing with the difficult task of handling the large amount of data produced from non-target analysis. The combination of bioassay activity assessment, accurate mass measurement, and the identification and confirmation strategy is a promising approach for future identification of environmental key toxicants that are not included as priority pollutants in monitoring programs
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