Detection of azo dyes and aromatic amines in women undergarment

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Women are exposed to several chemical additives including azo dyes that exist in textile materials that are a potential health hazard for consumers. Our objective was to analyze suspected carcinogenic azo dyes and their degradation aromatic amines in women's panties underwear using a fast and simple method for quantification. Here, we evaluated 120 different samples of women underwear for their potential release of aromatic amines to the skin. Seventy four samples yielded low level mixtures of aromatic amines; however eighteen samples were found to produce greater than 200 mg/kg (ppm) of aromatic amines. Azo dyes in these 18 samples were extracted from the fabrics and analyzed by reverse phase thin layer chromatography in tandem with atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry. Eleven azo dyes were identified based on their mass spectral data and the chemical structure of the aromatic amine produced from these samples. We demonstrate that planar chromatography and mass spectrometry can be really helpful in confirming the identity of the azo dyes, offering highly relevant molecular information of the responsible compounds in the fabrics. With the growing concern about the consumer goods, analysis of aromatic amines in garments has become a highly important issue.