John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Determination of silicone rubber and low density polyethylene diffusion and polymer‐water partition coefficients for emerging contaminants

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There is a growing interest in assessing the concentration and distribution of new non‐regulated organic compounds (emerging contaminants) in the environment. The measurement of freely dissolved concentrations using conventional approaches is challenging as a result of the low concentrations that may be encountered and their temporally variable emissions. Absorption‐based passive sampling enables the estimation of freely dissolved concentrations of hydrophobic contaminants of emerging concern in water. In the present study, calibration was undertaken for two polymers, low density polyethylene (LDPE) and silicone rubber (SR) for 11 fragrances, 5 endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs), 7 UV‐filters and 8 organophosphate flame retardant compounds (OPFRs). Batch experiments were performed to estimate contaminant diffusion coefficients in the polymers (Dp) which, in general, decreased with increasing molecular weight. These values for fragrances, EDCs and UV filters were in a similar range as previously reported values for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) but one order of magnitude lower for OPFRs. SR showed higher Dp values than LDPE and was therefore selected for further experiments to calculate polymer‐water partition coefficients (Kpw). We observed a positive correlation between logKpw and logKow values. Field testing of silicone rubber passive samplers was undertaken though exposure in the River Alna (Norway) for an exposure time of 21 days to estimate freely dissolved concentration. Some fragrances and UV filters were predominant over other emerging and regulated contaminants, at levels up to 1600 ng L−1 for galaxolide and 448 ng L−1 for octocrylene. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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