Validation and uncertainty estimation of an analytical method for the determination of phenolic compounds in concrete

Branislava Goran Savić, Ivana Mihajlović, Slobodan Milutinović, Mina Seović, Željka Nikolić, Miloš Tošić, Tanja Brdarić


Organic contaminants from building materials negatively affect the health of people. This study presents an analytical method for the simultaneous identification and quantification of 9 phenolic compounds, i.e., phenol, 2-chloro­phenol, 2,4-dimethylphenol, 2,4-dichlorophenol, 2,6-dichlorophenol, 4-chloro-3-
-methylphenol, 2,4,6-trichlorophenol, 2,3,4,6-tetrahlorophenol and pentachloro­phenol, in concrete by a gas chromatographic method with mass spectrometric detection (GC–MS). By comparing the MS spectra of the test compounds with MS spectra of analytical standards, reliable identification was achieved. The method could be applied in a given range (from 0.01 to 7.5 mg kg-1) with appropriate parameters of precision, accuracy, repeatability and linearity. The developed method could be used for quality control testing of phenols in concrete during the construction of new buildings, old residences and construction waste. The measure­ment uncertainty of the phenolic compounds in concrete was evaluated using two approaches, i.e., GUM recommendations and a Monte Carlo method. Disagreement of those methods was observed. The Monte Carlo method could be used in the evaluation of combined measurement uncertainty for the determination of phenolic compounds in concrete.


building material; GUM; Monte Carlo


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