Suspect and non-target screening of semi-volatile emerging contaminants in indoor dust from Danish kindergartens

Linyan Zhu*, Patrik Fauser, Lone Mikkelsen, Hans Sanderson, Katrin Vorkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

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Indoor dust is a sink of hundreds of organic chemicals, and humans may potentially be exposed to these via indoor activities. This study investigated potentially harmful semi-volatile organic contaminants in indoor dust from Danish kindergartens using suspect and non-target screening on gas chromatography (GC)-Orbitrap, supported by target analyses using GC-low resolution mass spectrometry (LRMS). A suspect list of 41 chemicals with one or more toxicological endpoints, i.e. endocrine disruption, carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity and allergenicity, known or suspected to be present in indoor dust, was established including phthalate and non-phthalate plasticizers, flame retardants, bisphenols, biocides, UV filters and other plastic additives. Of these, 29 contaminants were detected in the indoor dust samples, also including several compounds that had been banned or restricted for years. In addition, 22 chemicals were tentatively identified via non-target screening. Several chemicals have not previously been detected in Danish indoor dust. Most of the detected chemicals are known to be potentially harmful for human health while hazard assessment of the remaining compounds indicated limited risks to human. However, children were not specifically considered in this hazard assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140451
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Chemicals of emerging concern
  • GC-Orbitrap
  • Human exposure
  • Indoor environment
  • Risk assessment
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis
  • Denmark
  • Dust/analysis
  • Child
  • Flame Retardants/analysis
  • Schools


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