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Chemosphere. 2007 Apr;67(9):1746-53. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

PCB and dioxin-like PCB in indoor air of public buildings contaminated with different PCB sources--deriving toxicity equivalent concentrations from standard PCB congeners.

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1
LGA SH, State Agency for Health and Occupational Safety of Land Schleswig-Holstein, Brunswikerstr. 4-6, D-24105 Kiel, Germany. birger.heinzow@lgash-ki.landsh.de

Abstract

Data on dioxin-like PCB in indoor air of buildings with PCB-containing materials and on possible correlation between toxicity equivalent concentrations (TEQ) and levels of non-dioxin-like standard PCB is sparse. As part of a larger survey on indoor-air contamination with PCB, the connection between the concentration of standard PCB congeners and the dioxin-like toxicity expressed as TEQ was investigated. Indoor air samples (n=8) were collected in four public buildings with known PCB sources and total PCB levels in the range from 715 to 2250 ng/m3 and analyzed for the six non-dioxin-like standard PCB (congeners 28, 52, 101, 138, 153, 180), the twelve dioxin-like PCB congeners according to WHO and the 17 2,3,7,8-substituted PCDD/PCDF congeners. In three buildings where PCB were used as flame retardant coatings of acoustic ceiling tiles, PCB 101 had the maximum level among the six standard PCB, while in the building with permanent elastic sealants as PCB source, congeners 28 and 52 dominated the pattern by far. In the case of permanent elastic sealants as PCB source (n=3) a total PCB concentration of 1000 ng/m3 corresponded to a total TEQ level of 0.3-0.6 pg/m3. In contrast, in rooms with acoustic ceiling tiles as PCB source, 1.8-4.7 pg TEQ/m3 per 1000 ng total PCB/m3 were found. Linear regression analysis between PCB and TEQ indicated that PCB 118 might be used to calculate the total TEQ of dioxin-like PCB and PCDD/PCDF. By means of such a correlation it is possible to estimate TEQ by extrapolation from the results of less sophisticated analytical methods. It is tentatively recommended to use PCB 118 for screening purposes or re-evaluation of standard PCB indoor-air measurements. If only the six non-dioxin-like PCB standard congeners are available, a regression algorithm using the sum of PCB 101, 138, 153 and 180 might be used instead.

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