Linear and cyclic volatile methylsiloxanes (l-VMS and c-VMS) are man-made chemicals with no natural source. They have been widely used in cosmetics, personal care products, coatings and many other products. As a consequence of their wide use, VMS can be found in different environmental media, as well as in humans. We bought 14 new silicone baking moulds and 3 metallic moulds from the market and used them in different baking experiments. Four of the silicone baking moulds were produced in Germany, two in Italy, four in China, and for the other moulds were no information available. The metal forms were all produced in Germany. VMS were measured in the indoor air throughout the baking process and at the edge and in the center of the finished cakes using a GC/MS system. Additionally, the particle number concentration (PNC) and particle size distribution were measured in the indoor air. The highest median concentrations of VMS were observed immediately following baking: 301 μg/m3 of D7, 212 μg/m3 of D6, and 130 μg/m3 of D8. The silicone moulds containing the highest concentrations of c-VMS corresponded with distinctly higher concentrations of the compounds in indoor air. Using a mould for more than one baking cycle reduced the indoor air concentrations substantially. Samples collected from the edge of the cake had higher concentrations relative to samples from the center, with a mean initial concentration of 6.6 mg/kg of D15, 3.9 mg/kg of D9, 3.7 mg/kg of D12, and 4.8 mg/kg of D18. D3 to D5 were measured only at very low concentrations. Before starting the experiment, an average PNC of 7300 particles/cm3 was observed in the room's air, while a PNC of 140,000 particles/cm3 was observed around the electric stove while it was baking, but this PNC slowly decreased after the oven was switched off. Baking with 4 of the moulds exceeded the German indoor precaution guide value for c-VMS, but the health hazard guide value was not reached during every experiment. Compared to other exposure routes, c-VMS contamination of cake from silicone moulds seems to be low, as demonstrated by the low concentrations of D4 and D6 measured. For less volatile c-VMS > D6 the results of the study indicate that food might play a more important role for daily intake. As a general rule, silicone moulds should be used only after precleaning and while strictly following the temperature suggestions of the producers.
Keywords: Food; Indoor air; Particles; Siloxanes; VMS.
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