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Detection of FTOHs in indoor air of work places

: Schlummer, Martin; Kizlauskas, Markus; Gruber, Ludwig; Fiedler, Dominik; Müller, Josef; Biegler-Engler, Annegret

3rd International Workshop "Anthropogenic Perfluorinated Compounds" 2011. Abstract Book : June 15-17, 2011, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Amsterdam, 2011
International Workshop "Anthropogenic Perfluorinated Compounds" <3, 2011, Amsterdam>
Fraunhofer IVV ()

Fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOH) are volatile polyfluorinated compounds, and they are considered as precursor compounds of persistent perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCA), since they may degrade into PFCA both, biologically and abiotically. Thus FTOH may contribute to the overall exposure of human towards PFCA, especially PFOA.
FTOH are present in or released from high molecular polyfluorinated compounds, which are used as water and grease repellents on surfaces of consumer products. Due to the comparably high vapor pressures of FTOH an emission from consumer products into indoor air is expected.
The Federal Environment Agency of Germany initiated an analytical screening project for per- and polyfluorinated compounds (PFC) in consumer products in 2009. Part of this project was an investigation of indoor environments with special exposure to PFC containing consumer products.
In this study indoor air samples from 11 workplaces were drawn and analyzed for FTOH. Sampling sites were located in offices, kitchen, shops selling floorings, sports goods and outdoor textiles, two work places with focus on metal processing and automotive painting as well as in passenger car. As proposed by Jahnke et al.1 15-25 m³ of indoor air were trapped on Isolute ENV+ SPE cartridges, previously spiked with labeled internal standards. FTOH were eluted with acetone and analyzed by GC-CI-MS. In addition 5 textile samples were put in an emission test chamber with two ports; one connected to the surrounding air, the other connected to an SPE cartridge and an air pump. 3 m³ of air was drawn through the chamber and the emitted FTOH were trapped and analyzed like the indoor air samples.
Results reveal 6:2- 10:2 FTOH levels in both, indoor air and emission samples. 4:2 concentrations were below the LOD of 40 pg/m³. The sum of 6:2-, 8:2- and 10:2-FTOH in air of the investigated workplaces was below 2 ng/m3 in both bureaus and the kitchen. Higher levels were obtained in the car interior, at the metal processing and car painting places and in the shops. The highest indoor air level of 390 ng/m³ 6:2-, 8:2- and 10:2-FTOH was found in a shop selling outdoor textiles.
Air emitted from outdoor textiles investigated in the emission chambers contained up to > 600 ng/m³ with 8:2 FTOH being the dominating congener.
Presented data are in good agreement with recently published data on German indoor air² and are an indication for a significant FTOH emission from consumer products into indoor air. The significance of the obtained FTOH exposure in indoor and workplace environments for the human PFCA burden, however, depends on uptake rates and degradation rates which are not well known in humans.