Passive air sampling of flame retardants and plasticizers in Canadian homes using PDMS, XAD-coated PDMS and PUF samplers Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Passive air samplers (PAS) were evaluated for measuring indoor concentrations of phthalates, novel brominated flame retardants (N-BFRs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and organophosphate esters (OPEs). Sampling rates were obtained from a 50-day calibration study for two newly introduced PAS, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) or silicone rubber PAS (one with and one without a coating of styrene divinyl benzene co-polymer, XAD) and the commonly used polyurethane foam (PUF) PAS. Average sampling rates normalized to PAS surface area were 1.5 ± 1.1 m3 day-1 dm-2 for both unsheltered PDMS and XAD-PDMS, and 0.90 m3 ± 0.6 day-1dm-2 for partially sheltered PUF. These values were derived based on the compound-specific sampling rates measured here and in the literature for the PAS tested, to reasonably account for site-specific variability of sampling rates. PDMS and PUF were co-deployed for three weeks in 51 homes located in Ottawa and Toronto, Canada. Duplicate PUF and PDMS samplers gave concentrations within 10% of each other. PDMS and PUF-derived air concentrations were not statistically different for gas-phase compounds. PUF had a higher detection of particle-phase compounds such as some OPEs. Phthalate and OPE air concentrations were ∼100 times higher than those of N-BFRs and PBDEs. Concentrations were not systematically related to PM10, temperature or relative humidity. We conclude that both PAS provide replicable estimates of indoor concentrations of these targeted semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) over a three-week deployment period. However, PUF is advantageous for collecting a wider range of compounds including those in the particle phase.


  • Okeme, Joseph
  • Yang, Congqiao
  • Abdollahi, Atousa
  • Dhal, Suman
  • Harris, Shelley A
  • Jantunen, Liisa M
  • Tsirlin, Dina
  • Diamond, Miriam L

publication date

  • August 2018