Comprehensive characterization of the halogenated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran contents of residential fire debris using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to time of flight mass spectrometry
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A comprehensive approach was taken to characterize the polyhalogenated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran contents of fire debris. Household and electronics fire simulations were performed to create samples representative of those firefighters most typically come in contact with. Sample analysis was performed using GC×GC-TOFMS to provide a comprehensive profile of the halogenated dioxins and furans present among the two types of fire debris. Both the household fire and electronics fire simulations produced a significant amount of polybrominated dibenzofurans. Only the electronics rich fire simulation produced mixed halogenated (Br/Cl) dibenzofurans in amounts above the limit of detection of the analytical method. Of the mixed halogenated dibenzofurans identified, a majority were those having no commercially available standard to allow for specific congener identification. GC×GC-TOFMS was extremely beneficial for the identification of compound classes due to the manner in which compounds classify in the two-dimensional chromatographic plane, thus aiding data reduction for these materials.
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