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Journal of hazardous materials

Indoor air condensate as a novel matrix for monitoring inhalable organic contaminants.


PMID 25706557

Abstract

With the population of developed nations spending nearly 90% of their time indoors, indoor air quality (IAQ) is a critical indicator of human health risks from inhalation of airborne contaminants. We present a novel approach for qualitative monitoring of IAQ through the collection and analysis of indoor air condensate discharged from heat exchangers of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Condensate samples were collected from six suburban homes and one business in Maricopa County, Arizona, concentrated via solid-phase extraction, analyzed for 10 endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), and screened for additional organic compounds by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). All 10 EDCs were detected in at least one of the sampled buildings. More than 100 additional compounds were detected by GC-MS, of which 40 were tentatively identified using spectral database searches. Twelve compounds listed as designated chemicals for biomonitoring by the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program were detected. Microfiltration of condensate samples prior to extraction had no discernable effect on contaminant concentration, suggesting that contaminants were freely dissolved or associated with inhalable, submicron particles. This study is the first to document the utility of HVAC condensate for the qualitative assessment of indoor air for pollutants.