Development and validation of a GC Orbitrap-MS method for the analysis of phthalate esters (PAE) and bis(2-ethylhexyl)adipate (DEHA) in atmospheric particles and its application for screening PM 2.5 from Curitiba, Brazil

Cristian Ryan A. Argamino, Bruna G. Sebben, Gabriela da Costa, Sam Towers, Anna Bogush, Svetlana Stevanovic, Ricardo H.M. Godoi, Ivan Kourtchev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Phthalates or phthalic acid esters (PAE) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) adipate (DEHA) are ubiquitous chemicals often used as plasticisers and additives in many industrial products and are classified as both persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and new emerging pollutants (NEPs). Exposure to these chemicals, especially through inhalation, is linked to a wide range of negative health effects, including endocrine disruption. Air particulate matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter < 2.5 µm can be enriched with PAEs and DEHA and if inhaled can cause multi-system human toxicity. Therefore, proper monitoring of PAEs and DEHA in PM is required to assess human exposure to these pollutants. In this work, we developed and validated a new and sensitive gas-chromatography high-resolution mass (GC-HRMS) method for the targeted analysis of PAEs including dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), bis-2-ethylhexyl adipate (DEHA), bis-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DOP), in PM. Analytical aspects including sample preparation steps and GC-HRMS parameters, e.g., quadrupole isolation window, to enhance method sensitivity have been assessed. The estimated limit of detection (LODs) of target PAEs and DEHA ranged from 5.5 to 17 pg µL-1, allowing their trace-level detection in PM. Extraction efficiencies of 78% - 101% were obtained for the target compounds. Low DMP and DEP extraction efficiencies from the spiked filter substrates indicated that significant losses of higher volatility PAEs can occur during the sample collection when filter-based techniques are used. This work is the first targeted method based on GC-Orbitrap MS for PAEs and DEHA in environmental samples The validated method was successfully applied for the targeted analysis of PAEs and DEHA in PM2.5 samples from the eighth most populous city in Brazil, Curitiba. This work is the first to report DBP, DEHA, DEHP, and DOP in urban PM from Brazil. The observed concentrations of PAEs (up to 29 ng m-3) in PM2.5 from Curitiba may not represent the extent of pollution by these toxic compounds since the analysed samples were collected during a COVID-19 restriction when anthropogenic activities were reduced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1579-1592
Number of pages14
JournalAnalytical Methods
Volume16
Issue number11
Early online date9 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • aerosol
  • POPs
  • plasticiser
  • New and emerging pollutants
  • endocrine disrupting compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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