Phthalates in house dust

Environ Int. 2009 Aug;35(6):965-70. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2009.04.007. Epub 2009 May 15.


The main objective of this study was to generate a fast analytical method to determine the five phthalates benzylbutylphthalate (BBP), dibutylphthalate (DBP), di-(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate (DEHP), di-isodecylphthalate (DIDP), and di-isononylphthalate (DINP) in house dust. To achieve this liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) was used for measurement. The risk of lab- and cross-contamination was nearly eliminated completely as a very short and fast sample preparation including a sieving step and an ultrasonic extraction for the analytes from the dust samples was used. Quantification through internal standard calibration resulted in low limits of determination (DEHP 4 mg kg(-1) to DBP 14 mg kg(-1)). A potential interaction between the analytes DIDP and DINP during chromatographic measurement could be excluded while performing a two level factorial design. Furthermore it was examined to what extend carpet and plastic materials respectively have influence on the total amount of phthalates in dust. It could be shown that apartments in which a minimum of both of these sources appeared revealed the lowest total amount of sum of phthalates in dust (median 362 mg kg(-1)).

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Dust / analysis*
  • Housing
  • Phthalic Acids / analysis*
  • Plasticizers / analysis
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods


  • Dust
  • Phthalic Acids
  • Plasticizers