Environ Sci Technol. 2022 Jul 14. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c02463. Online ahead of print.
Substituted para-phenylenediamine (PPD) antioxidants have been extensively used to retard oxidative degradation of tire rubber and were found to pervade multiple environmental compartments. However, there is a paucity of research on the environmental occurrences of their transformation products. In this study, we revealed the co-occurrence of six PPD-derived quinones (PPD-Qs) along with eight PPDs in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from two Chinese megacities, in which N,N’-bis(1,4-dimethylpentyl)-p-phenylenediamine quinone (77PD-Q) was identified and quantified for the first time. Prevalent occurrences of these emerging PPD-Qs were found in Taiyuan (5.59-8480 pg/m3) and Guangzhou (3.61-4490 pg/m3). Significantly higher levels of PPDs/PPD-Qs were observed at a roadside site, implying the possible contribution of vehicle emissions. Correlation analysis implied potential consistencies in the fate of these PPD-Qs and suggested that most of them were originated from the transformation of their parent PPDs. For different subpopulation groups under different exposure scenarios, the estimated daily intakes of PPD-Qs (0.16-1.25 ng kgbw-1 day-1) were comparable to those of their parent PPDs (0.19-1.41 ng kgbw-1 day-1), suggesting an important but overlooked exposure caused by novel PPD-Qs. Given the prolonged exposure of these antioxidants and their quinone derivatives to traffic-relevant occupations, further investigations on their toxicological and epidemiological effects are necessary.
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