Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 404, Issue 2, pp 459–466 | Cite as

Clean-up method for determination of established and emerging brominated flame retardants in dust

  • Leena SahlströmEmail author
  • Ulla Sellström
  • Cynthia A. de Wit
Original Paper


A clean-up method was developed to enable the determination of tri-decabrominated diphenyl ethers, isomer-specific hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), (2-ethylhexyl)tetrabromobenzoate (TBB), and bis(2-ethylhexyl)tetrabromophthalate (TBPH) in the same dust sample extract using reasonable amounts of solvents and without dividing the sample. After extraction, the sample was separated on a silica column into three fractions that were subsequently cleaned up individually. The polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and DBDPE were eluted in Fraction I, TBB, TBPH, and BTBPE in Fraction II, and HBCDs in Fraction III. Fractions I and II were analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and Fraction III using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. The method gave good recoveries (60–120%), precise results using 13 C-labelled internal standards and was accurate when comparing results to certified values (PBDEs in NIST SRM 2585). The method was applied to dust samples from the Stockholm (Sweden) area. All the emerging brominated flame retardants (BFRs) studied, except BTBPE, were present in all the samples in quantifiable concentrations, often higher than the PBDEs. BTBPE was quantified in only one sample. It is evident that emerging BFRs are present in Swedish homes, and these compounds should be included in the BFR analyses of indoor environments.


Clean-up method for determination of BFRs in dust


Emerging BFRs PBDE HBCD Analytical method Dust 



We thank Tomas Alsberg for assistance with the UPLC/MS instrumentation; Ulla Eriksson for help with the GC/MS; and Karin Sjöstedt for laboratory work. Amelie Kierkegaard is acknowledged for valuable discussions. This study was funded by the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning (FORMAS).

Supplementary material

216_2012_6160_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (412 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 411 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leena Sahlström
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ulla Sellström
    • 1
  • Cynthia A. de Wit
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM)Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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