Highly Selective Screening of Estrogenic Compounds in Consumer-Electronics Plastics by Liquid Chromatography in Parallel Combined with Nanofractionation-Bioactivity Detection and Mass Spectrometry

Willem Jonker, Ana Ballesteros-Gómez, Timo Hamers, Govert W. Somsen, Marja H. Lamoree, Jeroen Kool

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The chemical safety of consumer products is an issue of emerging concern. Plastics are widely used, e.g. as casings of consumer electronics (TVs, computers, routers, etc.), which are present in houses and offices in continuously increasing numbers. In this study, we investigate the estrogenic activity of components of plastics coming from electronics' casings. A recently developed fractionation platform for effect-directed analysis (EDA) was used. This platform combines reversed-phase liquid chromatography in parallel with bioassay detection via nanofractionation and with online high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) for the identification of bioactives. Four out of eight of the analyzed plastics samples showed the presence of estrogenic compounds. Based on the MS results these were assigned to bisphenol A (BPA), 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol, and a possible bisphenol A analog. All samples contained flame retardants, but these did not show any estrogenicity. The observed BPA, however, could be an impurity of tetrabromo-BPA (TBBPA) or TBBPA-based flame retardants. Due to the plausible migration of additives from plastics into the environment, plastics from consumer electronics likely constitute a source of estrogenic compound contamination in the indoor environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12385-12393
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental science technology
Volume50
Issue number22
Early online date15 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016

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