Toy Analysis for Consumer Safety using Dynamic Headspace Technique
Toy safety is increasingly gaining the attention of analytical chemists due to the large scale of recalls and stricter regulations. The main target is to monitor the content of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in toys, which are, usually, residues of the manufacturing process of various types of polymers, additives, and coatings. As it is well-known, these health-threatening compounds can migrate from the toy, and consequently, be in contact with children. Therefore, recent regulatory developments require chemical emissions from children’s toys to be thoroughly screened as part of routine quality control.
The aim of this work is to identify and quantify these compounds in different types of toys using the automated dynamic headspace technique coupled to gas chromatography (DHS-GC). In the Dynamic Headspace Sampler, the sample is placed in a sealed 20-mL vial and thermostatted in a temperature-controlled oven. A precise flow of inert gas is purged into the vial through an original dual-needle, the volatile compounds are swept from the sample headspace and concentrated in a sorbent packed trap kept at low temperature. The trap is then rapidly heated in backflush, the desorbed volatiles are passed through the “Dew Stop” to remove most of the humidity, and introduced directly into the gas chromatographic column. Data obtained through the proposed technique confirmed its suitability for toy analysis.