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J Environ Monit. 2005 Aug;7(8):814-9. Epub 2005 Jul 1.

Organophosphorus flame retardants and plasticizers in air from various indoor environments.

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Department of Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, UmeƄ University, Sweden.


Eleven organophosphorus compounds (OPs) that are used as plasticizers and flame retardants were analysed in duplicate samples of indoor air from 17 domestic and occupational environments. Solid-phase extraction (SPE) columns were used as adsorbents and analysis was performed using GC with a nitrogen phosphorus selective detector. The total amounts of OPs in the air samples ranged between 36 and 950 ng m(-3); tris(chloropropyl) phosphate (TCPP) and tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) being the most abundant (0.4 to 730 ng m(-3)), followed by tributyl phosphate (0.5-120 ng m(-3)). Public buildings tended to have about 3-4 times higher levels of OPs than domestic buildings. The relative amounts of individual OPs varied between the sites and generally reflected the building materials, furniture and consumer products used in the sampled environments. Potential sources of these compounds include, inter alia, acoustic ceilings, upholstered furniture, wall coverings, floor polish and polyvinylchloride floor coverings. A correlation was observed between the TCEP concentrations in the air in the sampled environments and previously reported concentrations in dust, but no such correlation was seen for the heavier and less volatile tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBEP). Based on estimated amounts of indoor air inhaled and dust ingested, adults and children in the sampled environments would be exposed to up to 5.8 microg kg(-1) day(-1) and 57 microg kg(-1) day(-1) total OPs, respectively.

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