Determination of diphenylamine in contaminated air of agricultural buildings using active sampling on solid sorbents
This paper reports the results of a study carried out with solid sorbents in order to establish the optimum procedure for sampling and determination of diphenylamine (DPA), the most widely used post-harvest chemical in apples, in the indoor air of apple storage buildings. Different sorbents (Amberlite XAD-2, Amberlite XAD-4, Supelpak 2, Florisil, and the octadecyl silica bonded sorbent, C-18) were evaluated for their capacity to efficiently retain DPA under different air sampling and storage conditions, whereas a desorption study of all sorbents tested was also performed to optimise a simple extraction procedure using low volumes of organic solvents. In general all sorbents produced acceptable results for DPA air sampling whereas DPA was recovered easily by the use of low volumes of both ethyl acetate and acetone from all sorbents studied thus making DPA a suitable analyte to be used in methods of indoor air analysis for multi-organic pollutants. However, the best results (analytical features, recovery results, and stability results during storage) were obtained by the use of Supelpak 2 as a sorbent for DPA active sampling. Limits of Quantification (LOQs) for the GC-NPD system ranged from 1.0 to 2.0 mu g m(-3) for 120 and 60 L air sampled, respectively. The developed air sampling procedure and analytical methodology was applied with success in the field to measure DPA residues in indoor air of two apple storage plants in Greece and results were further used to calculate the occupational inhalation exposure to DPA and consequently risk characterisation. Since DPA was detected in indoor air (at concentrations ranged from 1.6 to 580 mu g m(-3)), there is no zero occupational risk for workers. However, the inhalation exposure of workers to DPA estimated in this study is far below the Acceptable Operator Exposure Level recently reviewed by the European Union and far below the critical exposure level for haematotoxicity systemic effect observed in carcinogenicity studies in rats for long-term inhalation exposure to DPA.