New methods for determination of airborne pollutants : Focus on tetrabromobisphenol A, organophosphate triesters and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Abstract: The work presented in this thesis concerns the development and evaluation of new methods of sampling and analysis of organic pollutants in the indoor and outdoor environment. In Paper I, the development of a new method was reported for the determination of the brominated flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) in air using sampling with glass fiber filter and polyurethane foam (PUF), ultrasonic solvent extraction and liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (LC-ESI/MS). The MS fragmentation mechanism of TBBPA was thoroughly investigated and different acquisition modes were evaluated to achieve the most sensitive and selective detection. In Papers II and III, the potential use of Empore SPE membranes was evaluated for air sampling of volatile, semi-volatile and particle-associated organic compounds. Breakthrough studies conducted for 24h at air flows of 10- 20 L/min showed that the SPE membranes efficiently retains volatile and semi-volatile organophosphate esters and particles >10 nm. Effort was invested in the development of fast and environmental friendly methods, with low cost, for sample clean up and analysis. In Paper II, the sample preparation technique was dynamic solvent extraction with methanol coupled to LC-ESI/MS. The total run time per sample, including both extraction and separation, was less than 34 min, consuming only 1.6mL methanol. In Paper III, efficiency of selective extraction of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from particulate matter sampled with Empore SPE membranes, using dynamic subcritical water extraction (DSWE) was investigated. Acceptable recoveries of the investigated compounds from reference material (SRM 1649a) were achieved. In Paper IV, the application of dynamic solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) air sampling was evaluated using, gas chromatography/positive ion chemical ionisation (GC/PICI) and tandem-MS detection for the determination of organophosphate esters in work environment.