Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 394, Issue 8, pp 2231–2239 | Cite as

Determination of dimethyl fumarate and other potential allergens in desiccant and antimould sachets

  • J. Pablo Lamas
  • Lucia Sanchez-Prado
  • Jorge Regueiro
  • Maria Llompart
  • Carmen Garcia-Jares
Original Paper


A method for the determination of dimethyl fumarate (DMF), benzothiazole (BT) and tert-butylphenol (TBP) in desiccant and antimould agents employed for protecting consumer products from humidity and mould has been developed. The method is based on ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) followed by GC-MS analysis. Parameters that could affect the extraction of the compounds have been optimised using a multivariate approach. In the final conditions, the extraction is performed using only 0.5 or 1 mL ethyl acetate and applying ultrasound energy for 5 min. Simultaneous extractions could also be carried out in 5 min without losing efficiency. The method was validated showing good linearity (R 2 >0.995). Both intra- and inter-day precisions were studied at several concentration levels, being satisfactory in all cases (RSD <10%). Recovery was evaluated in four real desiccant samples at different compound concentrations, ranging between 87% and 109%. Limits of detection and quantification were in the low nanogramme per gramme level, thus allowing the determination of DMF at concentrations well below the limit established by the recent EU Directive (0.1 μg/g). The proposed procedure was applied to the determination of the target compounds in several desiccant and antimould samples. Although most of them were simply labelled as “silica gel”, more than 70% of the tested samples contained high amounts of DMF, many of them at the high microgram per gramme level. Many samples also showed the presence of the other two potential allergens. These results demonstrate that the content of the “desiccant” sachets and tablets in consumer products does not usually belong with the label of the desiccant, and hence, the high risk of exposition to the powerful allergen DMF and other potentially harmful chemicals through consumer goods should be a matter of concern.


Dimethyl fumarate Benzothiazol tert-Butylphenol Ultrasound-assisted extraction GC-MS Desiccant Antimould agent Allergy 



This research was supported by FEDER funds and projects CTQ2006-03334 (CICYT, Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnologia, Spain) and PGIDT06PXI3237039PR (Xunta de Galicia). L. S.-P. and J.P.L. kindly acknowledge their postdoctoral Angeles Alvariño and Isabel Barreto contracts from the Xunta de Galicia, respectively, and J. R. would like to acknowledge his FPU doctoral grant to Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnologia.


  1. 1.
    Rice J (1994), Food Processing, Accessed date: 25 March 2009
  2. 2.
    Rantanen T (2008) British J Dermatol 159:218–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Williams JDL, Coulson IH, Susitaival P, Winhoven SM (2008) British J Dermatol 159:233–234CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Official Journal of the European Union, L74 (2009) 32-34Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jirovsky D, Wiegrebe W (2004) Monatshefte für Chemie / Chemical Monthly 135:1563–1568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brownlee BG, Carey JH, MacInnis GA, Pellizzari IT (1992) Environ Toxicol Chem 11:1153–1168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Orlita A (2004) Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 53:157–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Reemtsma T, Fiehn O, Kalnowski G, Jekel M (1995) Environ Sci Technol 29:478–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Badoil L, Benanou D (2009) Anal Bioanal Chem 393:1043–1054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Haavisto TE, Adamsson NA, Myllymäki SA, Toppari J, Paranko J (2003) Reprod Toxicol 17:593–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    P-TERT-BUTYL PHENOL SIDS Initial Assessment Report for 10th SIAM, UNEP Publications (2000)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bester K, Hühnerfuss H, Lange W, Theobald N (1997) Sci Total Environ 207:111–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lesage S (1991) Fresenius J Anal Chem 339:516–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ni H-G, Lu F-H, Luo X-L, Tian H-Y, Zeng EY (2008) Environ Sci Technol 42:1892–1897CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jover E, Matamoros V, Bayona JM (2009) J Chromatogr A 1216:4013–4019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    van Leerdam T, Hogenboom A, van der Kooi M, de Voogt P (2009) Int J Mass Spectrom 282:99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kloepfer A, Jekel M, Reemtsma T (2004) J Chromatogr A 1058:81–88Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Reemtsma T, Weiss S, Mueller J, Petrovic M, Gonzalez S, Barcelo D, Ventura F, Knepper TP (2006) Environ Sci Technol 40:5451–5458CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Slobodník J, Ramalho S, van Baar BLM, Louter AJH, Brinkman UAT (2000) Chemosphere 41:1469–1478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ko E-J, Kim K-W, Kang S-Y, Kim S-D, Bang S-B, Hamm S-Y, Kim D-W (2007) Talanta 73:674–683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Brossa L, Marce RM, Borrull F, Pocurull E (2005) Environ Toxicol Chem 24:261–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Conn KE, Barber LB, Brown GK, Siegrist RL (2006) Environ Sci Technol 40:7358–7366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Brossa L, Pocurull E, Borrull F, Marcé RM (2004) Chromatographia 59:419–423Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Saito I, Onuki A, Seto H (2004) Indoor Air 14:325–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rudel RA, Camann DE, Spengler JD, Korn LR, Brody JG (2003) Environ Sci Technol 37:4543–4553CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Pablo Lamas
    • 1
  • Lucia Sanchez-Prado
    • 1
  • Jorge Regueiro
    • 1
  • Maria Llompart
    • 1
  • Carmen Garcia-Jares
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Quimica Analitica, Nutricion y Bromatologia, Facultad de Quimica, Instituto de Investigacion y Analisis AlimentarioUniversidad de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

Personalised recommendations