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Oral bioaccessibility tests to measure potentially toxic elements in inhalable particulate matter collected during routine air quality monitoring

Alpofead, Jawad Ali Hussein and Davidson, Christine M. and Littlejohn, David (2016) Oral bioaccessibility tests to measure potentially toxic elements in inhalable particulate matter collected during routine air quality monitoring. Analytical Methods, 8 (27). pp. 5466-5474. ISSN 1759-9660

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The simplified bioaccessibility extraction test (SBET) and the stomach phase of the unified bioaccessibility method (UBM) have been modified for use in assessing the bioaccessibility of potentially toxic elements in samples of PM10 collected during routine air quality monitoring. Arsenic, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in extracts of synthetic PM samples prepared by loading candidate soil reference material BGS102 onto TX40 (Teflon-coated borosilicate) filters widely used in standard commercial tapered element oscillating microbalance/filter dynamics measurement system (FDMS) ambient particulate monitors. Analysis of blanks revealed two important sources of contamination that had to be controlled in order to achieve reproducible results. The syringe filters used in the SBET released Cu and Zn into sample extracts during filtration and had to be washed with 80 mL of 0.4 M glycine at pH 1.5 immediately prior to use, whilst the FDMS filters used to collect PM10 were found to contain sufficient extractable Zn (ca. 3 μg per filter) to almost double the concentration released by the soil. The latter is a consequence of the use of Zn in filter manufacture and so could not be eliminated, but was successfully overcome by means of blank-subtraction. A ten-fold miniaturisation of the SBET and six-fold miniaturisation of the UBM allowed 0.1 g samples to be processed, with analyte recoveries generally within ±10% of those obtained when the conventional procedures were used. Comparison between results obtained when the modified procedures were applied to soil alone, and when soil was loaded onto FDMS filters, indicated that the presence of the filter had no effect on extraction efficiency, except for Fe, provided blank-correction was performed. Results obtained for As, Cd and Pb when the modified UBM was applied to BGS102 on FDMS filters were 4.40 ± 0.04, 0.224 ± 0.002 and 17.3 ± 0.8 mg kg-1, respectively (n = 3), all within recommended ranges.