According to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA, August 2008), some phthalates are restricted in particular products. Since February 2009, children’s toys and childcare articles cannot contain concentrations of more than 0.1% of Bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), and Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP). Temporary restrictions were also placed on children’s toys and childcare articles that contain more than 0.1% Diisononyl phthalate (DINP), Di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP), or Di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP). The European Union and Japanese toy safety standards also enforce the same legislative limits for all six phthalates listed above.
This application note describes a screening method for 14 phthalates (6 of which are legislated) in one minute, using ACQUITY UPLC with SQ Detector and Empower 2 Software. A typical quantitative phthalate analysis using GC/MS takes approximately 30 minutes per sample. Using this one-minute screening method dramatically increases the sample throughput. Those samples that show positive results can then be submitted for confirmatory analysis.