NEHA November 2022 Journal of Environmental Health

14 Volume 85 • Number 4 cium carbonate bands, BPS or BPA characteristic peaks are apparent. The decline of BPA use due to toxicity concerns and the rise of BPS as its common replacement in thermal paper is an example of an ill-informed substitution. The biological activity of BPS and its adverse eects on organisms have become better understood in recent years (Catanese & Vandenberg, 2017; Gorini et al., 2020; Kinch et al., 2015), with implications particularly for workers at stores and restaurants who are disproportionately exposed to developer chemicals from receipts (Ehrlich et al., 2014; Hehn, 2016; Hormann et al., 2014). Other analytical methods can be used to identify developers on thermal paper (Eckardt et al., 2020; Kinch et al., 2015), but the comparative ease of using FTIR to rapidly screen papers presents an opportunity for NGOs and regulatory agencies to better address the unnecessary and widespread human exposure to these chemicals. Untargeted Phthalates We highlight three cases in which nonspecific detection of phthalates by FTIR proved key to determining composition. In the first case, FTIR identified phthalates in a vinyl garden hose in which GC/MS initially found just 0.15% DINP, which is below the FTIR LOD. When a second GC/MS analysis was carried out with an expanded target list, an uncommon phthalate was found: 1.3% 1-nonyl 2-undecyl 1,2-benzenedicarboxylate or dinonylundecyl phthalate (DNUP). In the next two cases, FTIR identified the presence of phthalates in vinyl disposable gloves that was not initially detected by targeted GC/MS. GC/MS was carried out a second time with an expanded target list, resulting in determination of 22.7% and 24.9% dipropylheptyl phthalate (DPHP) in the gloves. DPHP is an isomer of DIDP that is also used as a plasticizer. Thus, FTIR prevented unexpected or novel phthalate congeners from being overlooked. This nonspecificity can be a downside when speciation is desired. Conclusion This article aims to inform public and environmental health professionals how to use a relatively inexpensive, rapid technique to test consumer products, food contact materials, and receipt paper for common hazardous chemicals. To evaluate the utility of this approach, we aggregated FTIR data from product research carried out between 2014 and 2020. We tested over 100 diverse products for added plasticizers, 18 children’s car seats for flame retardants, and >200 receipts for BPS and BPA. We carried out ATR-FTIR directly on product samples and—when a clearer spectrum was desired—after passive extraction using very low volumes of isopropanol or ethanol. The extraction proved useful for products with complex matrices, removing matrix and filler bands from the spectrum to reveal additive chemicals. In fabric and polyurethane foam, extraction-IR allowed detection of both chlorinated and nonhalogenated organophosphate flame retardants, but not most brominated flame retardants. Extraction was not needed to determine BPA or BPS presence in receipts. Comparison with certified test methods at contract laboratories showed FTIR and extraction-IR reliably detected phthalates and nonphthalate plasticizers in PVC and other polymers, several organophosphorus flame retardants in fabrics and foams, and BPA and BPS in receipts. Interestingly, for low phthalate levels close to LOD, visual identification of phthalate peaks was more reliable than the software’s multicomponent search. LOD for total phthalates in PVC was found to be approximately 0.3% for “ideal” samples and closer to 1.0% for real-world products. The method revealed phthalate presence in products appearing phthalate-free by targeted mass spectrometry. Similarly, the method identified an unexpected phosphonate flame retardant in car seats. Acknowledgements: This work was funded by grants from the Environmental Defense Fund and the John Merck Fund as well as the Cedar Tree Foundation, Marisla Foundation, and Cornell Douglas Foundation. Corresponding Author: Gillian Zaharias Miller, Ecology Center, 339 East Liberty Street, Suite 300, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Email: A D VANC EME N T O F T H E SCIENCE Attenuated Total Reflectance–Fourier-Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) Spectra From the Printed Sides of Purchase Receipts Containing Bisphenol S (BPS) as the Developer (Top) and Bisphenol A (BPA) as the Developer (Bottom) Note. Peaks that are characteristic of BPS (top) and BPA (bottom) that are useful for distinguishing the two chemicals are labeled. Asterisks (*) indicate calcium carbonate. 500 700 900 1,300 1,100 1,500 1,700 Absorbance 872* 713* 552 827 564 722 1,601 1,586 1,409* 1,139 1,103 1,073 1,084 1,103 1,177 549 557 692 BPS Receipt BPA Receipt Wavenumber (cm-1) FIGURE 6