Analytical Methods for Volatile Methylsiloxanes Quantification: Current Trends and Challenges

  • Vera HomemEmail author
  • Nuno RatolaEmail author
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 89)


Silicon materials are widespread in our daily life and in numerous industrial applications, and this started raising concerns in the scientific community a couple of decades ago regarding the potential negative effects these chemicals could have in the environment and human health. Naturally, analytical methodologies were required to assess their presence around us. In particular, volatile methylsiloxanes (VMSs) have been the focus of research in this field, and their presence has been determined in many environmental matrices. However, this extended presence tends to provoke problems of external contamination during sampling and analysis, as, for instance, personal care products or chromatograph parts have VMSs in their formulations. Also, the volatility of these compounds advises against a large number of sample handling steps. This chapter reviews the analytical choices for the analysis of VMSs in water, air, sediments, soil and sewage sludge reported so far in literature, giving an overview of the sampling and sample processing precautions and the strategies employed for the extraction/clean-up (or lack thereof) before the typical analysis by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry detection (GC-MS), which in some cases presented different injection options.


Analytical methods Environmental compartments Sample handling Volatile methylsiloxanes 



This work was also financially supported by (1) Project UID/EQU/00511/2019 ‘Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy – LEPABE’ funded by national funds through FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC); (2) Projects POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029425 ‘AGRONAUT - Agronomic impact of sludge amendment using a comprehensive exposure viewpoint’ and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-032084 ‘LANSILOT - LAunching New SILOxane Treatments: assessing effluent, sludge and air quality and improving biogas production in WWTPs’, funded by FEDER funds through COMPETE2020 – Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) and by national funds (PIDDAC) through FCT/MCTES; (3) Project ‘LEPABE-2-ECO-INNOVATION – NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000005’, funded by Norte Portugal Regional Operational Programme (NORTE 2020), under PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). V. Homem acknowledges the Assistant Researcher contract (Individual Scientific Employment Stimulus 2017 - CEECIND/00676/2017) funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEPABE – Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, University of PortoPortoPortugal

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