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Rapidly Equilibrating Micrometer Film Sampler for Priority Pollutants in Air

Genualdi, Susan, Harner, Tom
Environmental Science & Technology 2012 v.46 no.14 pp. 7661-7668
air, air pollution, aluminum foil, ethylene-vinyl acetate, gas chromatography, glass, glass fibers, mass spectrometry, mass transfer, molecular weight, perfluorocarbons, pesticides, pollutants, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls, rapid methods, samplers, siloxanes, sorption
Modified polymer-coated glass samplers (POGs), termed EVA samplers, consist of micrometer-thin layers of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) coated onto a glass fiber filter or aluminum foil substrate. These samplers were designed to equilibrate rapidly with priority pollutants in air, making them ideal for short-term spatial studies in ambient or indoor air. The EVA sampler was calibrated by measuring the uptake of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) over 8 weeks in an indoor environment, and four different film thicknesses were monitored that ranged from 0.1 to 30 μm. The results were used to calculate the average mass transfer coefficient (50.5 m/day) and generate contour maps that provide guidance in choosing an appropriate EVA sampler for a particular study based on film thickness, deployment time, and the log KOA of the anlayte. A range of air pollutant classes was also added to the EVA sampler prior to deployment to assess depuration rates. These included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), current-use pesticides (CUPs), perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). On the basis of the depuration profiles, the EVA sampler was a suitable equilibrium sampler for several CUPs and PCBs; however, for the high molecular weight PCBs and PBDEs, the EVA sampler operates as a linear uptake sampler. Samplers were also evaluated for their use as a rapid screening tool for assessing concentrations of siloxanes in indoor air. The EVA sampler was used to estimate air concentrations for D4 and D5 in laboratory air to be 118 and 89 ng/m³, respectively. Analyses were performed directly using thermal desorption gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (TDS-GC-MS). EVA samplers show promise due to their relatively low cost and ease of deployment and applicability to a wide range of priority chemicals. The ability to alter the film thickness, and hence the sorption capacity and performance of the EVA sampler, allows for a versatile sampler that can be used under varying sampling conditions and deployment times.