Journal of chromatography. A

Determination of fragrance allergens in indoor air by active sampling followed by ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

PMID 20138288


Fragrances are ubiquitous pollutants in the environment, present in the most of household products, air fresheners, insecticides and cosmetics. Commercial perfumes may contain hundreds of individual fragrance chemicals. In addition to the widespread use and exposure to fragranced products, many of the raw fragrance materials have limited available health and safety data. Because of their nature as artificial fragrances, inhalation should be considered as an important exposure pathway, especially in indoor environments. In this work, a very simple, fast, and sensitive methodology for the analysis of 24 fragrance allergens in indoor air is presented. Considered compounds include those regulated by the EU Directive, excluding limonene; methyl eugenol was also included due to its toxicity. The proposed methodology is based on the use of a very low amount of adsorbent to retain the target compounds, and the rapid ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction (UAE) using a very low volume of solvent which avoids further extract concentration. Quantification was performed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The influence of main factors involved in the UAE step (type of adsorbent and solvent, solvent volume and extraction time) was studied using an experimental design approach to account for possible factor interactions. Using the optimized procedure, 0.2 m(-3) air are sampled, analytes are retained on 25 mg Florisil, from which they are extracted by UAE (5 min) with 2 mL ethyl acetate. Linearity was demonstrated in a wide concentration range. Efficiency of the total sampling-extraction process was studied at several concentration levels (1, 5 and 125 microg m(-3)), obtaining quantitative recoveries, and good precision (RSD<10%). Method detection limits were < or =0.6 microg m(-3). Finally, the proposed method was applied to real samples collected in indoor environments in which several of the target compounds were determined.