Environmentally friendly eggs

The Column

The Column, The Column-03-07-2012, Volume 8, Issue 4
Pages: 6

Organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) are used in a variety of commercial products worldwide, however, little is known about their environmental and health impacts.

Organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) are used in a variety of commercial products worldwide, however, little is known about their environmental and health impacts.

A team based in Canada has developed a method for examining their impact by analysing 13 herring gull eggs from the Channel-Shelter Island colony at Lake Huron.1 The method is based on a two-step sample extraction followed by liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization(+)-tandem mass spectrometry. Three OPFRs were detected in the eggs: tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (4.1 ng/g wet weigh, ww), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (0.6 ng/g ww) and tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (2.2 ng/g ww).

Further study is required but this novel method is highly suitable for the analysis of environmentally relevant OPFRs as only 1 g of egg homogenate is needed for successful analysis. This research contributes towards our need for information about the prevalence of OPFRs in the environment.

1 Shaogang Chu et al., Journal of Chromatography A, 1220, 169–174 (2012).

This story originally appeared in The Column. Click here to view that issue.