Special techniques are used to analyze SVOCs. Because of their low vapor pressures, SVOCs tend to condense on surfaces and only very low concentrations are measured in air. Consequently, standard environmental chamber techniques used for VOCs are unreliable for determining the emissions of SVOCs from products because these compounds stick to chamber surfaces. For example, scientific studies have shown that the air concentration of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) emitted from resilient flooring in environmental chambers takes more than one month to reach equilibrium. In addition, gas-phase emissions may not be the best indicator of potential health risks associated with these chemicals as other exposure pathways such as dermal absorption, direct ingestion, and dermal contact combined with hand-to-mouth transfer may be more significant than gas-phase inhalation. A more reliable approach for evaluating the potential impact of products on exposures to SVOCs is to measure the SVOC content of these products, such as through phthalate testing.
Berkeley Analytical (BkA) has the full capability to conduct phthalates analysis of toys, child care articles, furniture components and building products. We routinely measure such products for their content of the six phthalate esters identified in the Federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, and help manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers meet their CPSIA obligations. We are accredited to the approved U.S. CPSC test method and relevant U.S. EPA methods and are listed as an approved laboratory on the CPSC website. Our laboratory is well equipped with state-of-the-art technology for cryogenic milling, accelerated solvent extraction, and high sensitivity GC/MS phthalate analysis of solvent extracts. We apply similar methods and techniques for the analysis of PDBE’s, other flame retardants, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in a variety of solid matrices. Our participation in international inter-laboratory studies demonstrates that our test results for phthalates analysis and the analysis of other SVOCs have low bias and high precision.
BkA also provides IAQ professionals involved in building investigations with phthalate testing and PAH testing in a variety of field collected matrices. These matrices include: