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Novel Technique for Analysing Volatile Compounds in Indoor Dust: Application of Gas Chromatography – UV Spectrometry to the Study of Building-Related Illness
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is now generally acknowledged that particulate air pollution can cause respiratory symptoms and that indoor dust particles may be associated with mucous membrane irritation and odour annoyance. One reason for this may be that dust particles adsorb large quantities of gases and other volatile compounds. It is therefore important to be able to determine the chemical compounds adsorbed onto indoor dust particles. In this thesis, a new technique was developed that can analyse chemical compounds in indoor dust particles in a simple yet accurate way. In its basic configuration, it comprises a one stage thermal desorption oven, a gas flow cell with a miniaturized GC column, and a nitrogen-flushed photo diode array (PDA) detector for fast UV spectra recording. The dust sample is thermally desorbed in the oven and the released compounds are flushed onto the GC column by means of a carrier gas stream; the separated compounds are then registered by the PDA detector and identified by their characteristic gas-phase UV spectra. Using this set-up, a number of volatile organic as well as inorganic compounds were identified in indoor dust particles, e.g. nitric oxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, pyridine, 2-furaldehyde, 2-methylfuran, and isoprene. Moreover, acrylate monomers were identified in dust samples from a secondary school with problems due to powdering floor polish. An instrumental set-up with higher performance was achieved by interfacing the gas flow cell to a capillary GC column. When airborne indoor dust samples were analysed by this system and by GC-MS under similar conditions of thermal desorption (150 °C) and GC separation, the two analytical systems were found to be complementary. GC-UV together with GC-MS was thus demonstrated to be considerably more powerful than GC-MS alone for the analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in indoor dust. When airborne dust samples from damp (n=9) and control (n=9) residences were analysed for VOC and microorganisms, identifications made by culture and microscopy of the major moulds found, i.e. Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillum, coincided with the identification of VOC known to be produced by these species. A number of additional VOC were also found, some of which may be irritating to the skin, eyes or respiratory tract if present at higher concentrations. Quantitative GC-UV analysis of indoor dust from 389 residences in Sweden showed that the VOC found at the highest concentrations were saturated aldehydes (C5-C10), furfuryl alcohol, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol, 2-furaldehyde, and benzaldehyde. Alkenals were also found, notably 2-butenal (crotonaldehyde), 2-methyl-propenal (methacrolein), hexenal, heptenal, octenal, and nonenal. GC-UV was also applied (together with GC-MS) to determine VOC in dust from residences of 198 children with symptoms of asthma and/or allergy (cases) and from residences of 202 children without symptoms (controls). The mean concentration of nicotine was found to be significantly higher in dust from case residences, while the mean concentrations of hexane, nonanal, octane, 2-pentylfuran and tridecanol were significantly higher in dust from control residences. In a stepwise logistic regression model, nicotine, hexanal, furfuryl alcohol, nonane, butanol, and octenal showed increased relative risks, expressed as odds ratios comparing cases with controls. By contrast, benzaldehyde, nonanal, butenal, hexane, tridecanol, and pentylfuran showed decreased relative risks. These findings point to the possibility that not only environmental tobacco smoke but also other emissions in the indoor environment may be linked to the increased prevalence of asthma and/or allergy in children. It is concluded that GC-UV may be used as an alternative or complement to GC-MS for measuring chemicals in indoor dust, thus improving the survey and control of human exposure to particle-bound toxicants and other chemicals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2004. , 67 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 856
Keyword [en]
acrylates adverse effects, air pollution, ultraviolet, indoor analysis, chromatography, gas, environmental exposure adverse effects, sick building syndrome etiology, dust, volatilization, Spectrophotometry
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-5199ISBN: 91-7373-833-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-5199DiVA: diva2:21126
Public defence
2004-09-27, Aulan, Hälsans hus, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
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List of papers
1. Novel technique for measuring low molecular weight chemicals in indoor dust
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Novel technique for measuring low molecular weight chemicals in indoor dust
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2002 (English)In: Indoor and Built Environment, ISSN 1420-326X, Vol. 11, no 3, 153-161 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A new technique is described which can measure low molecular weight compounds adsorbed onto dust particles in a simple yet accurate way. The technique, gas chromatography-ultraviolet spectrometry (GC-UV), comprises a one-stage thermal desorption oven, a gas flow cell with a miniaturised GC column, and a nitrogen-flushed photo diode array (PDA) detector for fast UV spectra recording. The dust sample is thermally desorbed in the oven and the compounds released are flushed onto the GC column by means of a carrier gas stream. The separated compounds are then registered by the PDA detector and identified by their characteristic gas-phase UV spectra. This method enables the analysis of volatile organic as well as inorganic compounds adsorbed onto dust particles, many of which are difficult to analyse together in one single analysis using conventional methods. For example, both nitric oxide and ammonia can be analysed, as well as hydrogen sulphide, pyridine, 2-furaldehyde, 2-methylfuran, and isoprene. It is concluded that GC-UV may be used as an alternative or to complement other methods for measuring chemicals in indoor dusts, thus improving survey and control of the human exposure to particle-bound irritants and other chemicals.

Keyword
Dust, Indoor air, Thermal desorption, Gas chromatography-ultraviolet spectrometry, Nitric oxide
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13657 (URN)10.1159/000064124 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-10-09 Created: 2004-10-09 Last updated: 2009-08-20
2. Powdering floor polish and mucous membrane irritation in secondary school pupils
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Powdering floor polish and mucous membrane irritation in secondary school pupils
2000 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, Vol. 73, no 7, 498-502 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: Acrylate-styrene copolymer polish has been used to protect the surface of linoleum flooring since the 1960s. Problems with powdering of floor polish were observed at an early stage. In a secondary school in Linköping, Sweden, this phenomenon occurred in the winter of 1994–1995 and the pupils frequently reported irritative symptoms from the eyes and airways. This study was undertaken to assess the potential effect of powdering floor polish on the mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory tract.

Methods: Repeated questionnaire-based surveys were conducted with identical questions in the spring of 1995 (during the powdering period) and in the autumn of 1995 (after the polish was removed). The questions dealt with irritative symptoms from the nose, eye, throat and lower respiratory tract.

Results: A preventive effect related to the removal of polish was found for irritative symptoms in all locations mentioned above, but was particularly clear for the lower respiratory tract (prevalence rate ratio=0.37, 95% CI=0.23–0.59).

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the powdering of floor polish may cause irritative symptoms from the eyes and airways in school children.

Keyword
Acrylates, Dust, Sick-building syndrome, Epidemiology, Follow up
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13658 (URN)10.1007/s004200000176 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-10-09 Created: 2004-10-09 Last updated: 2009-08-19
3. Qualitative determination of compounds adsorbed on indoor dust particles using GC-UV and GC-MS after thermal desorption
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Qualitative determination of compounds adsorbed on indoor dust particles using GC-UV and GC-MS after thermal desorption
2000 (English)In: Chromatographia, ISSN 0009-5893, Vol. 52, no 9-10, 621-630 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fifteen indoor dust samples were analysed qualitatively to determine the compounds adsorbed on the surfaces of the particles. The analyses were performed by GC-MS and GC-UV after thermal desorption at 150°C. A total of 192 different compounds with boiling points from about 50°C to 250°C were identified or classified. The results from the two methods, which were carried out under similar conditions of thermal desorption and gas chromatographic separation, were complementary. GC-MS clearly showed better results for non-aromatic compounds such as alkanes, chlorinated hydrocarbons, acids, esters and alcohols, but for aldehydes and compounds containing unconjugated double bonds the two methods were about equally successful. However, for aromatic or conjugated compounds, the GC-UV method had a clear advantage. Also two iodonated compounds were determined only by the GC-UV technique. These findings indicate that the combined use of GC-UV and GC-MS is appropiate for the analysis of chemical compounds adsorbed on indoor dust particles.

Keyword
Gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and GC-UV, Solid-phase microextraction, thermal desorption, Dust
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13659 (URN)10.1007/BF02789762 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-10-09 Created: 2004-10-09 Last updated: 2009-08-19
4. Microorganisms and volatile organic compounds in airborne dust from damp residences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Microorganisms and volatile organic compounds in airborne dust from damp residences
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2004 (English)In: Indoor Air. International Journal of Indoor Environment and Health, ISSN 0905-6947, Vol. 14, no 2, 74-82 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Airborne dust samples from damp (n = 9) and control (n = 9) residences were analyzed for microorganisms (molds and bacteria), bacterial markers (3-hydroxy fatty acids and muramic acid), and adsorbed volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The number of mold species was greater in the damp residences than in the controls (23 vs.18) and nine mold species were found only in damp residences. The levels of 3-hydroxy fatty acids and muramic acid correlated better in damp residences than in controls, indicating that damp conditions affect the bacterial flora of airborne dust. Identifications made by culture and microscopy of the major molds found, i.e. Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillum, coincided with the identification of VOCs known to be produced by these species. A number of additional VOCs irritating to the skin, eyes, or respiratory tract were also found. The results from this pilot study illustrate the diversity of microorganisms and VOCs present in the indoor environment and suggest that analysis of airborne dust may help to assess human exposure to microorganisms and chemical compounds.

Keyword
Airborne dust, Microorganisms, Volatile organic compounds, GC-UV, GC-MS
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13660 (URN)10.1046/j.1600-0668.2003.00178.x (DOI)
Available from: 2004-10-09 Created: 2004-10-09 Last updated: 2009-08-19
5. Quantitative determination of volatile organic compounds in indoor dust using Gas Chromatography – UV spectrometry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quantitative determination of volatile organic compounds in indoor dust using Gas Chromatography – UV spectrometry
Show others...
2005 (English)In: Environment International, ISSN 0160-4120, Vol. 31, no 8, 1141-1148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A novel technique, gas chromatography-UV spectrometry (GC-UV), was used to quantify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in settled dust from 389 residences in Sweden. The dust samples were thermally desorbed in an inert atmosphere and evaporated compounds were concentrated by solid phase micro extraction and separated by capillary GC. Eluting compounds were then detected, identified, and quantified using a diode array UV spectrophotometer. Altogether, 28 compounds were quantified in each sample; 24 of these were found in more than 50% of the samples. The compounds found in highest concentrations were saturated aldehydes (C5–C10), furfuryl alcohol, 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol (BHT), 2-furaldehyde, and benzaldehyde. Alkenals were also found, notably 2-butenal (crotonaldehyde), 2-methyl-propenal (methacrolein), hexenal, heptenal, octenal, and nonenal. The concentrations of each of the 28 compounds ranged between two to three orders of magnitude, or even more. These results demonstrate the presence of a number of VOCs in indoor dust, and provide, for the first time, a quantitative determination of these compounds in a larger number of dust samples from residents. The findings also illustrate the potential use of GC-UV for analysing volatile compounds in indoor dust, some of which are potential irritants (to the skin, eyes or respiratory system) if present at higher concentrations. The potential use of GC-UV for improving survey and control of the human exposure to particle-bound irritants and other chemicals is inferred.

Keyword
GC-UV; VOC; Indoor settled dust; Alkenal; Furfural
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13661 (URN)10.1016/j.envint.2005.04.003 (DOI)
Available from: 2004-10-09 Created: 2004-10-09
6. Volatile organic compounds in indoor dust from residences of children with symptoms of asthma and/or allergy: a case-control study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Volatile organic compounds in indoor dust from residences of children with symptoms of asthma and/or allergy: a case-control study
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13662 (URN)
Available from: 2004-10-09 Created: 2004-10-09 Last updated: 2010-01-13

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