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J Chromatogr A. 2007 Jan 12;1139(1):14-26. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Identification, characterization and quantitation of pyrogenic polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons and other organic compounds in tire fire products.

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Emergencies Science and Technology Division, Environmental Technology Center, Environment Canada, 335 River Road, Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0H3, Canada.


On 15 August 2001, a tire fire took place at the Pneu Lavoie Facility in Gatineau, Quebec, in which 4000 to 6000 new and recycled tires were stored along with other potentially hazardous materials. Comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses were performed on the tire fire samples to facilitate detailed chemical composition characterization of toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other organic compounds in samples. It is found that significant amounts of PAHs, particularly the high-ring-number PAHs, were generated during the fire. In total, 165 PAH compounds including 13 isomers of molecular weight (MW) 302, 10 isomers of MW 278, 10 isomers of MW 276, 7 isomers of MW 252, 7 isomers of MW 228, and 8 isomers of MW 216 PAHs were positively identified in the tire fire wipe samples for the first time. Numerous S-, O-, and N-containing PAH compounds were also detected. The identification and characterization of the PAH isomers was mainly based on: (1) a positive match of mass spectral data of the PAH isomers with the NIST authentic mass spectra database; (2) a positive match of the GC retention indices (I) of PAHs with authentic standards and with those reported in the literature; (3) agreement of the PAH elution order with the NIST (US National Institute of Standards and Technology) Standard Reference Material 1597 for complex mixture of PAHs from coal tar; (4) a positive match of the distribution patterns of PAH isomers in the SIM mode between the tire fire samples and the NIST Standard Reference Materials and well-characterized reference oils. Quantitation of target PAHs was done on the GC-MS in the selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode using the internal standard method. The relative response factors (RRF) for target PAHs were obtained from analyses of authentic PAH standard compounds. Alkylated PAH homologues were quantitated using straight baseline integration of each level of alkylation.

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