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Phthalate esters (PEAs) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in indoor dust matter of Palermo (Italy) area. Extraction, GC-MS analysis


Studies on indoor pollution are important since people spend more than 80% of their time indoor environments. A variety of air pollutants, associated with volatile semi-volatile and particulate matter, are generated in indoor environment from human activities. Among the hazardous pollutants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are important owing to their carcinogenicity and mutagenicity. Phthalates are introduced into the environment by anthropogenic sources. Phthalates with higher molecular weights are largely used as additives and plasticizers in plastic material (PVC), while those with lower molecular weights are components of solvents, adhesive, wax, ink, pharmaceutical products, etc. Phthalates are not chemically but only physically bound to the polymer chains, hence they are ubiquitously and they may be leached into the environment and food. Health risks are mainly associated with exposure in uterus and early years of life.A relationship between phthalate concentrations in dust, collected from the children’s bedrooms and asthma and allergies in children has been reported in literature. Indoor air is normally monitored using automatic systems, consequently, the costs and difficulty in managing the monitoring of a great number of indoor environments appear immediately relevant. A practical problem in analyzing environmental contaminants is their very low concentration near or below the detectable analytical limits. In air, concentrations widely vary over time. Interpreting trace contaminants concentrations in air and predicting the threat they pose to human life under variable physical-chemical conditions are very difficult. In this work the methods for PAHs and PAEs analysis in indoor dust (used as passive sampler) and the results relative to samples collected are reported. Total PAHs concentrations in indoor dusts ranged from 36 to 34453 mg/kg while PAEs from 216 to 4589 mg/kg d.w. We note differences in phthalate concentrations between buildings from different construction periods; the total concentration of PAEs was higher in ancient houses compared to those constructed later. A linear correlation between total PAEs concentration and age of the building was calculated. The purpose of this work is to present simple methods to analyze PAHS and PEAs in indoor dust, used as a passive sampler.GC–MS (SIM) method was applied. The compounds taken into account in this paper are 33 (16 PAHs and 17 PEHs).