Material emissions – Consumer goods
Hazardous chemicals released from consumer goods
The quality of indoor air is affected both by the materials used in constructing living spaces and by the everyday products used within them, all of which can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) linked to adverse health effects.
As regulations on chemical emissions from construction products have become commonplace, attention has turned to potentially hazardous chemicals released from consumer goods, including:
What Markes can offer
|Draft ISO methods for SVOCs || |
Monitoring releases of chemicals from consumer goods has historically focused on the more volatile compounds. However, two new draft ISO methods are now being developed that aim to facilitate the expansion of testing into semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs).
|Formaldehyde monitoring || |
Formaldehyde is too reactive to monitor by TD–GC–MS, and must instead be sampled onto DNPH cartridges, which generate a stable derivative. These cartridges are then analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). More on formaldehyde monitoring.
As a result of public concern and legislatory activities, there is currently a need for analysts to detect and identify a wide variety of volatile chemicals released from consumer goods.
Thermal desorption is compatible with three common sampling techniques for assessing hazardous emissions from consumer goods.
- Small chambers: The material is placed inside the chamber, a flow of gas is applied and the chemicals released from the material are pumped onto sorbent tubes. These tubes are then analysed by TD–GC–MS, allowing an emission profile to be determined. Small-chamber sampling methods are well-established for testing building materials used indoors, and for testing of materials used in vehicle interior. Typically these methods take days or months for each sample.
- Microchambers (for example, Markes’ Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor): These are micro-scale chamber devices that facilitate rapid screening of chemicals released from materials. The sample is simply sealed inside the chamber, a flow of gas applied, with the chemicals emitted being collected onto sorbent tubes. The ability to raise the temperature of the chamber up to 250°C allows emissions of SVOCs to be ‘forced’, allowing the determination of emissions in worst-case senarios.
- Direct desorption is very simple, and involves simply placing a small (milligram) quantity of the sample in an empty TD sorbent tube, which is then heated to release the vapours. This is commonly used for testing materials used in vehicle interiors.
In each case, analysis is carried out by TD–GC–MS (for example, using Markes’ UNITY-xr or TD100-xr thermal desorbers). For direct desorption, sampling is carried out within the thermal desorber itself, and no separate sampling apparatus is needed.
For a more comprehensive introduction to the application of thermal desorption to construction product testing, contact us for a copy of our TD Applications Guide on residual volatiles and material emissions testing.
- For examples of the application of the Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor to consumer products testing, see Application Notes 067, 069, 089, 090 and 103.
- For a study using Markes’ Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor and TD-100 to assess emissions from materials, see: V.M. Brown and D.R. Crump, An investigation into the performance of a multi-sorbent sampling tube for the measurement of VVOC and VOC emissions from products used indoors, Analytical Methods, 2013, 5: 2746–2756.
- For a description of the Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor, its application (with UNITY-ULTRA) to assess emissions from plastic pellets, wall coverings and polyurethane foams, and correlation with small-chamber methods, see: T. Schripp et al., A microscale device for measuring emissions from materials for indoor use, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2007, 387: 1907–1919.
- For an example of the Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor being used to determine naphthalene emissions from a variety of household building materials, furnishings, and consumer products, see: D.H. Kang, D.H. Choi, D. Won, W. Yan, H. Schleibinger and J. David, Household materials as emission sources of naphthalene in Canadian homes and their contribution to indoor air, Atmospheric Environment, 2012, 50: 79–87.
- For current thinking on the issues raised by BPA, see this advice from the US Food & Drug Administration and this guidance from the European Food Safety Authority.