Quinolines in clothing textiles—a source of human exposure and wastewater pollution?


A production process in which the use of various types of chemicals seems to be ubiquitous makes the textile industry a growing problem regarding both public health as well as the environment. Among several substances used at each stage, the present study focuses on the quinolines, a class of compounds involved in the manufacture of dyes, some of which are skin irritants and/or classified as probable human carcinogens. A method was developed for the determination of quinoline derivatives in textile materials comprising ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction, solid phase extraction cleanup, and final analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Quinoline and ten quinoline derivatives were determined in 31 textile samples. The clothing samples, diverse in color, material, brand, country of manufacture, and price, and intended for a broad market, were purchased from different shops in Stockholm, Sweden. Quinoline, a possible human carcinogen, was found to be the most abundant compound present in almost all of the samples investigated, reaching a level of 1.9 mg in a single garment, and it was found that quinoline and its derivatives were mainly correlated to polyester material. This study points out the importance of screening textiles with nontarget analysis to investigate the presence of chemicals in an unbiased manner. Focus should be primarily on clothing worn close to the body.

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Meng Hu is acknowledged for the initial work on the present study.

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Correspondence to Conny Östman.

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Luongo, G., Thorsén, G. & Östman, C. Quinolines in clothing textiles—a source of human exposure and wastewater pollution?. Anal Bioanal Chem 406, 2747–2756 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-014-7688-9

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  • Quinoline
  • Clothing
  • Textiles
  • Garment
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry