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Determination of polyacrylate super absorbent polymers in air.

Tucker-SP; Millson-MB; Dollberg-DD
Anal Lett 1993 May; 26(5):965-980
An analytical method for determining starch grafted, cross linked sodium polyacrylates (polyacrylate super absorbent polymers) (PSAPs) in air was developed. Air samples were collected on a polyvinyl- chloride membrane filter at a flow rate of 1 to 2 liters per minute. The filters were treated with 0.07 molar cupric-acetate in an ultrasonic bath for 15 minutes. The PSAP reacted with cupric- acetate to form a copper/polymer precipitate. The precipitate was digested by refluxing it overnight at 150 degrees-C with a 10:1 mixture of nitric-acid/perchloric-acid. The digests were then analyzed for copper by inductively coupled plasma atomic absorption spectrometry using 324.7 nanometers as the analytical wavelength. The amount of PSAP in the sample was determined from a calibration plot of copper versus polymer. Calibration curves for PSAPs were linear up to around 150 micrograms (microg) per sample. The detection limits for the polymers were 4.4 to 14microg/sample, respectively. The new method was used to determine PSAP concentrations in the ambient air of a diaper factory. Parallel samples were collected and analyzed by the currently used sodium method. Average PSAP concentrations using the sodium method were 60 to 66% higher than concentrations using the new method. The authors conclude that the large differences between the concentrations measured by the new method and the sodium method probably reflect positive bias in the sodium method.
NIOSH-Author; Air-samples; Atomic-absorption-spectrometry; Sample-preparation; Acrylates; Analytical-methods; Workplace-monitoring
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Analytical Letters