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Challenges in the Analyses of Organophosphate Esters

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School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, United States
Wellington Laboratories Inc., 345 Southgate Drive, Guelph, Ontario N1G 3M5, Canada
*E-mail: [email protected]. Telephone: 1-812-855-1005.
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2017, 4, 7, 292–297
Publication Date (Web):June 6, 2017
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society
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Abstract Image

Organophosphate esters (OPEs) have been subject to considerable scientific and public scrutiny in recent years. The combination of their physicochemical characteristics and lack of standard analytical methods has resulted in growing concerns with respect to the validity of OPE concentrations reported in the literature. The goal of this study was to address the analytical challenges in analyses of OPEs by comparing the precision and accuracy of data generated for individual target analytes by different laboratories. Eleven international research laboratories were recruited in this study, and a total of 16 OPEs, chosen among the most frequently reported ones, were targeted. Results demonstrate the participating laboratories had generally good to very good consistency for the suite of OPEs analyzed, but accuracy was found to be a problem for several OPEs and laboratories. Methods utilized for the quantification of tri-m-tolyl phosphate, tri-p-tolyl phosphate, and tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate performed worst overall, as highlighted by their zeta-scores, suggesting that interpretation and comparison of results for these OPEs should be made with caution and that current analytical methods may need to be improved. Liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry performed best for both precision and accuracy.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00195.

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Cited By

This article is cited by 10 publications.

  1. Yuxin Sun, Amila O. De Silva, Kyra A. St Pierre, Derek C. G. Muir, Christine Spencer, Igor Lehnherr, John J. MacInnis. Glacial Melt Inputs of Organophosphate Ester Flame Retardants to the Largest High Arctic Lake. Environmental Science & Technology 2020, 54 (5) , 2734-2743.
  2. Timothy F. M. Rodgers, Jimmy W. Truong, Liisa M. Jantunen, Paul A. Helm, Miriam L. Diamond. Organophosphate Ester Transport, Fate, and Emissions in Toronto, Canada, Estimated Using an Updated Multimedia Urban Model. Environmental Science & Technology 2018, 52 (21) , 12465-12474.
  3. William A. Stubbings, Jiehong Guo, Kendall Simon, Kevin Romanak, William Bowerman, Marta Venier. Flame Retardant Metabolites in Addled Bald Eagle Eggs from the Great Lakes Region. Environmental Science & Technology Letters 2018, 5 (6) , 354-359.
  4. Cassandra Rauert, Jasmin K. Schuster, Anita Eng, Tom Harner. Global Atmospheric Concentrations of Brominated and Chlorinated Flame Retardants and Organophosphate Esters. Environmental Science & Technology 2018, 52 (5) , 2777-2789.
  5. Linyu Jiao, Hua Yu, Zihui Ning, Zhuo Li. Research Progress in the Preparation of Aryl and Alkyl Mixed Phosphates. Chinese Journal of Organic Chemistry 2021, 41 (11) , 4180.
  6. Minmin Hou, Yali Shi, Guangshui Na, Yaqi Cai. A review of organophosphate esters in indoor dust, air, hand wipes and silicone wristbands: Implications for human exposure. Environment International 2021, 146 , 106261.
  7. Javier Castro-Jiménez, Nuno Ratola. An innovative approach for the simultaneous quantitative screening of organic plastic additives in complex matrices in marine coastal areas. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 2020, 27 (10) , 11450-11457.
  8. Yayun Zhang, Huijun Su, Miaolei Ya, Jianhua Li, Shih-Hsin Ho, Luming Zhao, Kang Jian, Robert J. Letcher, Guanyong Su. Distribution of flame retardants in smartphones and identification of current-use organic chemicals including three novel aryl organophosphate esters. Science of The Total Environment 2019, 693 , 133654.
  9. Fiona Wong, Cynthia A. de Wit, Seth R. Newton. Concentrations and variability of organophosphate esters, halogenated flame retardants, and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in indoor and outdoor air in Stockholm, Sweden. Environmental Pollution 2018, 240 , 514-522.
  10. Maria K. Björnsdotter, Encarnación Romera-García, Josep Borrull, Jacob de Boer, Soledad Rubio, Ana Ballesteros-Gómez. Presence of diphenyl phosphate and aryl-phosphate flame retardants in indoor dust from different microenvironments in Spain and the Netherlands and estimation of human exposure. Environment International 2018, 112 , 59-67.

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