Simplifying multi-residue analysis of flame retardants in indoor dust
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
New York, N.Y.
International journal of environmental analytical chemistry. - New York, N.Y.
, p. 1074-1083
University of Antwerp
Flame retardants (FRs), added in consumer products and building materials, may be released indoors during the product's life-cycle, thus posing potential hazards to human health. Therefore, rapid monitoring of a large number of FRs in dust is necessary. The aim of this work was to develop a fractionation procedure that would reduce the sample complexity, prevent coelutions and provide extracts ready to be analysed by gas or liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS or LC-MS). This was done by dividing the target FRs in several fractions according to their polarity. A combination of ultrasonic-assisted extraction and solid phase extraction (SPE) was applied for household dust. FRs were eluted from the silica SPE cartridge by using different solvents of increasing polarity (n-hexane, n-butyl chloride, ethyl acetate and methanol). In this way, several key separations could be achieved, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), or the brominated FRs from organophosphate FRs. The reduction in matrix complexity allows the use of simpler scanning instruments, such as quadrupole MS and of commercial mass spectral libraries for compound identification. The feasibility of the procedure was assessed through the analysis of a standard reference material (SRM 2585) which contains an important number of FRs.