Quantification of organic solvents in aquatic toys and swimming learning devices and evaluation of their influence on the smell properties of the corresponding products
Based on the observation that the characteristic odour of inflatable aquatic toys for children is predominantly caused by residues of hazardous organic solvents, the concentrations of cyclohexanone, isophorone and phenol were determined in a selection of 20 products obtained from online suppliers located in Germany. Analytes were extracted with dichloromethane after the addition of non-labelled internal standards, and the volatile fraction was isolated using solvent-assisted flavour evaporation (SAFE). Extracts were then concentrated by Vigreux distillation and analysed by means of gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS). Furthermore, each sample was evaluated regarding its specific olfactory properties by an expert sensory panel. While some samples did not contain significant amounts of solvents, cyclohexanone concentrations above the lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) were determined in nine samples with six samples containing high concentrations ranging from about 1 to 7 g/kg cyclohexanone. Isophorone concentrations above the LLOQ were observed in eight samples. Thereby, six products contained between 0.3 and 1.6 g/kg isophorone and the remaining two samples contained even about 5 g/kg isophorone, each. Likewise, phenol concentrations exceeded the LLOQ in 14 cases, with four samples containing elevated amounts ranging from about 140 to 280 mg/kg phenol.