In the work underlying this thesis solid-phase microextraction (SPME) was evaluated as a passive sampling technique for organophosphate triesters in indoor air. These compounds are used on a large scale as flame-retarding and plastizicing additives in a variety of materials and products, and have proven to be common pollutants in indoor air. The main objective of this work was to develop an accurate method for measuring the volatile fraction. Such a method can be used in combination with active sampling to obtain information regarding the vapour/particulate distribution in different indoor environments. SPME was investigated under both equilibrium and non-equilibrium conditions and parameters associated with these different conditions were estimated.
In Paper I, time-weighted average (TWA) SPME under dynamic conditions was investigated in order to obtain a fast air sampling method for organophosphate triesters. Among the investigated SPME coatings, the absorptive PDMS polymer had the highest affinity for the organophosphate triesters and was consequently used in all further work. Since the sampling rate is dependent on the agitation conditions, the linear airflow rates had to be carefully considered. Sampling periods as short as 1 hour were shown to be sufficient for measurements in the ng-μg m-3 range when using a PDMS 100-μm fibre and a linear flow rate above 7 cm s-1 over the fibre.
SPME under equilibrium conditions is rather time-consuming, even under dynamic conditions, for slowly partitioning compounds such as organophosphate triesters. Nevertheless, this method has some significant advantages. For instance, the limit of detection is much lower compared to 1 h TWA sampling. Furthermore, the sampling time can be ignored as long as equilibrium has been attained. In Paper II, SPME under equilibrium conditions was investigated and evaluated for organophosphate triester vapours. Since temperature and humidity are closely associated with the distribution constant a simple study of the effect of these parameters was performed. The obtained distribution constants were used to determine the air levels in a common indoor environment. SPME and parallel active sampling on filters yielded similar results, indicating that the detected compounds were almost entirely associated with the vapour phase
To apply dynamic SPME method in the field a sampler device, which enables controlled linear airflow rates to be applied, was constructed and evaluated (Paper III). This device was developed for application of SPME and active sampling in parallel.
A GC/PICI-MS/MS method was developed and used in combination with active sampling of organophosphate triesters in indoor air (Paper IV). The combination of MS/MS and the soft ionization achieved with methanol as reagent gas yielded high selectivity and detection limits comparable to those provided by GC with nitrogen-phosphorus detection (NPD). The method limit of detection, when sampling 1.5 m3 of air, was in the range 0.1-1.4 ng m-3. In Paper V, the developed MS method was used in combination with SPME for indoor air measurements.
The levels detected in the investigated indoor environments range from a few ng to μg m-3. Tris(2-chloropropyl) phosphate was detected at a concentration as high as 7 μg m-3 in a newly rebuilt lecture room.
Stockholm: Institutionen för analytisk kemi , 2004. , 62 p.
2004-10-06, Magnélisalen, Kemiska övningslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 12 A, Stockholm, 13:00