In this application note, you will learn how the combination of GC×GC and HRTOFMS resulted in excellent quantitative PCP data.
Household dust is a repository of hazardous compound accumulation and therefore an important indicator of chemical exposure.
Humans are regularly exposed to a wide variety of harmful substances in dust such as pesticides, flame- retardants, and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The occurrence of dangerous chemicals in homes is potentially high due to inadvertent transfer from outside sources, as well as their presence in household goods such as carpets, furniture, paint, textiles, and electronic devices. One group of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that can be found in dust are polychlorinated paraffins (PCPs). PCPs are synthetic compounds produced in enormous quantities (greater than 1 million tons/year) and are used commercially as flame-retardants, plasticizers, and metalworking lubricants. They are classified according to their carbon length: Short-chain, medium-chain, and long-chain chlorinated. Due to their complexity PCPs are difficult to analyze using conventional GC-MS and LC-MS approaches.
For this study dust samples were obtained from vacuum cleaner bags used over multiple weeks in local household and business premises. Standard reference material was purchased directly from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) website and was used for method development. PCPs were quantified by developing an improved analytical approach using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) with high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HRTOFMS) and a multi-mode ionization source operating in Electron Capture Negative Ionization (ECNI) mode. ECNI-HRTOFMS significantly increased sensitivity, improved selectivity, and minimized isobaric interferences between PCP congeners and other POPs. The implementation of GC×GC resulted in satisfactory separation and quantification of SCCPs and MCCPs in sequential chromatographic groups.
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