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Long-term Integrated Sampling of Semivolatile Organic Compounds in Indoor Air: Measurement of Emerging Compounds Using Novel Active and Passive Sampling Methods

Dodson, Robin1; Perovich, Laura1; Nishioka, Marcia2; Spengler, John3; Vallarino, Jose3; Rudel, Ruthann1

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000392165.56512.28
Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Environmental Exposures for SVOCs, Human Uptake and Health (ISIAQ Symposium)

1Silent Spring Institute, Newton, MA; 2Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH; and 3Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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A pilot study evaluated newly developed, long-term integrated active and passive air samplers targeting a suite of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), some not previously measured in air.

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Active samplers collected air at 1 L/min continuously for 20–30 days and were designed to be minimally invasive to residents. Active air samples of particulate and vapor phase materials were collected using URG personal pesticide sampling cartridges with XAD resin and polyurethane foam plugs. Passive air samples were collected using a similar glass cartridge containing only polyurethane foam plugs. To our knowledge, this study is one of the first to evaluate long-term, integrated active air sampling techniques for a wide range of SVOCs of emerging concern and to evaluate compact passive samplers in parallel. Samplers were deployed in 2 residences and 1 office location and analyzed for 113 SVOCs.

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A total of 90 SVOCs were detected, including 6 phthalates, 13 flame retardants, 14 polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons, 2 glycol ethers, 17 pesticides, 11 phenolic compounds, and 17 fragrance compounds. Due to the lack of historical experience with long-term integrated air sampling for these compounds, a number of quality assurance/quality control samples were used to characterize method performance. Quality assurance/quality control measures included duplicate field samples to evaluate precision; spiked samples to evaluate accuracy by estimating analyte degradation and recovery; field blanks to evaluate potential contamination; and cartridges in series to evaluate breakthrough. Because passive sampling methods may be useful exposure measures in large-scale epidemiological studies, they were collected in parallel and compared with active samples across the full range of analytes.

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Strengths and limitations of the new sampling techniques will be discussed. In addition, we will summarize a range of available methods for measuring a broad suite of SVOCs in air and dust in the context of exposure and epidemiological studies.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.