Submitted to: Organohalogen Compounds
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2006
Publication Date: 8/18/2006
Citation: Shelver, W.L., Rubio, F.M. Comparison of soil PBDE levels using HRGC-HRMS and magnetic particle enzyme immunoassay. Organohalogen Compounds 68. Interpretive Summary: Polybrominated flame retardants are environmental contaminants that can accumulate through the food chain. These compounds are used in electronic equipment, plastics, and textiles to prevent fires. Soil samples from a firefighter training station where various combustibles are burned were analyzed for flame retardants using two different analytical methods. The traditional instrumental analysis method (GC-MS) can quantitate several different structurally-related compounds but requires extensive cleanup procedures which are time consuming and need a dedicated operator. A newly developed magnetic particle immunoassay method to measure these flame retardants uses less solvent, is user friendly, rapid, and cost effective.
Technical Abstract: Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are the major class of compounds used to prevent fires in furniture, textiles, and electronic equipment. Because they are structurally similar to dioxin and polychlorobiphenyl, PBDEs have been shown to be persistent environmental contaminants that can accumulate through the food chain. ELISA and HRGC-HRMS methods were used to determine PBDEs in soils from a burning site, as well as several other sites, known to contain high dioxin levels. The GC-MS results showed a similar relative abundance among the congeners included in the PentaBDEs formulation with 5 major congeners being BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-100, BDE-153, and BDE-154. The abundance of BDE-47 to BDE-99 ratio was ca 1:1.8. High correlation between ELISA and GC-MS results was observed (R2=0.8105, n=8) although the ELISA results were higher than the GC-MS measurements [ELISA PBDE concentration = 10.6 GC-MS PBDE concentration (sum BDE-47 + BDE-99)]. The GC-MS method provided greater details regarding congener composition but a large quantity of organic solvents is required for sample cleanup (> 400 mL). In comparison, the ELISA method used less than 6% of organic solvents required for the GC-MS method. This factor alone makes the ELISA method an environmental friendly and cost effective screening method.