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Investigation of PAH and other hazardous contaminant occurrence in recycled tyre rubber surfaces. Case-study: restaurant playground in an indoor shopping centre

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The objective of this case study was to investigate the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other hazardous organic chemicals in a recycled tyre playground surface (in an indoor restaurant of a shopping centre with limited ventilation). This study also aimed at underlining both the volatilisation of these compounds in the vapour phase above the sample and the partial leaching of contaminants from the playground surface to the runoff and cleaning water put in contact with the sample. Playground samples were extracted with ethyl acetate using ultrasonic energy followed by GC-MS analysis. In addition, the same samples were analysed by HS-SPME to study the volatilisation and the transfer of those organic compounds. The analysis confirmed the presence of a large number of hazardous substances. Thus, 14 of the 16 studied PAHs were identified in the extracts (including the considered most toxic PAH, benzo[a]pyrene) and nine of them were also detected in the vapour phase. Besides, nine PAHs were found in the runoff/cleaning water, yielding a total PAH concentration at the ppm level. The presence and the high concentrations of these chemical compounds in playgrounds should be a matter of concern owing to their high toxicity.
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Keywords: GC-MS; SPME; phthalates; playgrounds; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); recycled tyre rubber surfaces; runoff water

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of Chemistry, Campus Vida, University of Santiago de Compostela, E-15782, Santiago de Compostela, Spain 2: Galician Institute for Food Quality (INGACAL), Agronomic and Agrarian Research Centre (CIAM), E-15080, A Coruña, Spain 3: Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, IQOG-CSIC, E-28006, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: September 26, 2014

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