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Sci Total Environ. 2014 Sep 1;491-492:80-6. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.12.127. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Simultaneous determination of thirteen organophosphate esters in settled indoor house dust and a comparison between two sampling techniques.

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  • 1Exposure and Biomonitoring Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada.
  • 2Exposure and Biomonitoring Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada. Electronic address:


An analytical method for the simultaneous determination of 13 organophosphate esters (OPEs) in house dust was developed. The method is based on solvent extraction by sonication, sample cleanup by solid phase extraction (SPE), and analysis by gas chromatography-positive chemical ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (GC/PCI-MS/MS). Method detection limits (MDLs) ranged from 0.03 to 0.43 μg/g and recoveries from 60% to 118%. The inter- and intra-day variations ranged from 3% to 23%. The method was applied to dust samples collected using two vacuum sampling techniques from 134 urban Canadian homes: a sample of fresh or "active" dust (FD) collected by technicians and a composite sample taken from the household vacuum cleaner (HD). Results show that the two sampling methods (i.e., FD vs HD) provided comparable results. Tributoxyethyl phosphate (TBEP), triphenyl phosphate (TPhP), tris(chloropropyl) phosphate (TCPP), tri(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), tris(dichloro-isopropyl) phosphate (TDCPP), tricresyl phosphate (TCrP), and tri-n-butyl phosphate (TnBP) were detected in the majority of samples. The most predominant OPE was TBEP, with median concentrations of 31.9 μg/g and 22.8 μg/g in FD and HD samples, respectively, 1 to 2 orders of magnitude higher than other OPEs. The method was also applied to the analysis of OPEs in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standard reference material (NIST SRM 2585, organic contaminants in house dust). The results from SRM 2585 may contribute to the certification of OPE concentration values in this SRM.

Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Dust sampling; Multiple reaction monitoring; Organophosphate esters; Positive ion chemical ionization; Standard reference material 2585

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