Passive sampling for target and nontarget analyses of moderately polar and nonpolar substances in water



The applicability of silicone rubber and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) as passive sampling materials for target and nontarget analyses of moderately polar and nonpolar substances was assessed through a field deployment of samplers along a small, polluted stream in Oslo, Norway. Silicone and LDPE samplers of identical surface area (but different volumes) were deployed at 6 sites in the River Alna for 49 d. Quantitative target analysis by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (quadrupole, single-ion monitoring mode) demonstrated that masses of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and organochlorine compounds absorbed in the 2 polymeric materials were consistent with the current understanding of the control and mode of accumulation in these sampler materials. Some deviation was observed for decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) and may be linked to the large molecular size of this substance, resulting in lower diffusivity in the LDPE. Target and nontarget analyses with gas chromatography coupled to high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry allowed the identification of a wide range of chemicals, including organophosphate compounds (OPCs) and musk compounds (galaxolide and tonalid). Semiquantitative analysis revealed enhanced quantities of the OPCs in silicone material, indicating some limitation in the absorption and diffusion of these substances in LDPE. Overall, silicone allows nontarget screening analysis for compounds with a wider range of log octanol–water partition coefficient values than what can be achieved with LDPE. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:1718–1726. © 2013 SETAC