Six selected primary carbamate insecticides, methomyl, carbaryl, carbofuran, propoxur, isoprocarb, and promecarb, were hydrolyzed in alkaline solution, resulting in electroactive derivatives detectable at a platinum (Pt) electrode poised at +0.8 V vs Ag/AgCl (3M NaCl). The Pt electrode was inserted into a small electrochemical cell and positioned close to the capillary outlet as an end-column detector to detect the carbamate derivatives after electrophoretic separation. Based on their predicted pK(a) values and aqueous solubilities, micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) was optimized for baseline separation of the derivatives using 20 mM borate, pH 10.2 containing 20 mM sodium dodecyl sulfate as a running buffer. When combined with solid-phase extraction (SPE) on octadecyl silica, a preconcentration factor of 100-fold achieved detection to 0.5 mu M methomyl and to 0.01 mu M for the remaining five pesticides, significantly below the level regulated by government agencies of most countries. The SPE-MEKC method when applied to the separation and analysis of spiked river water and soil samples, yielded results with excellent reproducibility, recovery and selectivity. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.