Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Indoor Air. 2004 Jun;14(3):188-95.

Occurrence of phthalates and musk fragrances in indoor air and dust from apartments and kindergartens in Berlin (Germany).

Author information

  • 1Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Veterinärstrasse, Oberschleissheim, Germany.


In this study, the occurrence of persistent environmental contaminants room air samples from 59 apartments and 74 kindergartens in Berlin were tested in 2000 and 2001 for the presence of phthalates and musk fragrances (polycyclic musks in particular). These substances were also measured in household dust from 30 apartments. The aim of the study was to measure exposure levels in typical central borough apartments, kindergartens and estimate their effects on health. Of phthalates, dibutyl phthalate had the highest concentrations in room air, with median values of 1083 ng/m(3) in apartments and 1188 ng/m(3) in kindergartens. With around 80% of all values, the main phthalate in house dust was diethylhexyl phthalate, with median values of 703 mg/kg (range: 231-1763 mg/kg). No statistically significant correlation could be found between air and dust concentration. Musk compounds were detected in the indoor air of kindergartens with median values of 101 ng/m(3) [1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8- hexamethylcyclopenta-(g) 2-benzopyrane (HHCB)] and 44 ng/m(3) [7-acetyl-1,1,3,4,4,6-hexamethyl-tetraline (AHTN)] and maximum concentrations of up to 299 and 107 ng/m(3) respectively. In household dust HHCB and AHTN were detected in 63 and 83% of the samples with median values of 0.7 and 0.9 mg/kg (Maximum: 11.4 and 3.1 mg/kg) each. On comparing the above phthalate concentrations with presently acceptable tolerable daily intake values (TDI), we are talking about only a small average intake [di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and diethyl phthalate less than 1 and 8% of the TDI] by indoor air for children. The dominant intake path was the ingestion of foodstuffs. For certain subsets of the population, notably premature infants (through migration from soft polyvinyl chloride products), children and other patients undergoing medical treatment like dialysis, exchange transfusion, an important additional intake of phthalates must taken into account.


The phthalate and musk compounds load in a sample of apartments and kindergartens were low with a typical distribution pattern in air and household dust, but without a significant correlation between air and dust concentration. The largest source of general population exposure to phthalates is dietary. For certain subsets of the general population non-dietary ingestion (medical and occupational) is important.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center