ATR-FTIR and LC-Q-ToF-MS analysis of indoor dust from different micro-environments located in a tropical metropolitan area


Indoor dust is an important matrix that exposes humans to a broad spectrum of chemicals. The information on the occurrence of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), their metabolites, and re-emerging contaminants in indoor dust is rather limited. As the indoor environment is exposed to various chemicals from personal care products, furniture, building materials, machineries and cooking/cleaning products, there is a high chance of the presence of hazardous contaminants in indoor dust. In the present study, dust samples were collected from four different micro indoor environments (photocopying centres, residential houses, classrooms, and ATM cabins) located in an urban environment located in India’s southwestern part. The collected samples were subjected to ATR – FTIR and LC-Q-ToF-MS analyses. The ATR – FTIR analysis indicated the presence of aldehydes, anhydrides, carboxylic acids, esters, sulphonic acids, and asbestos – a re-emerging contaminant. A total of 19 compounds were identified from the LC-Q-ToF-MS analysis. These compounds belonged to various classes such as plasticisers, plasticiser metabolites, photoinitiators, personal care products, pharmaceutical intermediates, surfactants, and pesticides. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report regarding the presence of CECs in indoor environments in Kerala and also the suspected occurrence of pesticides (metaldehyde and ethofumesate) in classroom dust in India. Another important highlight of this work is the demonstration of ATR-FTIR as a complementary technique for LC-Q-ToF-MS in the analysis of indoor pollution while dealing with totally unknown pollutants. These results further highlight the occurrence of probable chemically modified metabolites in the tropical climatic conditions in a microenvironment.

Authors: M Vishnu Sreejith, K S Aradhana, M Varsha, M K Cyrus, C T Aravindakumar, Usha K Aravind
; Full Source: The Science of the total environment 2021 Aug 20;783:147066. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147066.