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Environ Geochem Health. 2013 Oct;35(5):613-24. doi: 10.1007/s10653-013-9544-9. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

The distribution of phthalate esters in indoor dust of Palermo (Italy).

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche, Chimiche, Farmaceutiche, Università di Palermo, Parco Orleans II, Palermo, Italy. santino.orecchio@unipa.it

Abstract

In this work, phthalic acid esters (PAEs): dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-n-butyl phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and di-n-octyl phthalate in indoor dust (used as passive sampler) were investigated. The settled dust samples were collected from thirteen indoor environments from Palermo city. A fast and simple method using Soxhlet and GC-MS analysis has been optimized to identify and quantify the phthalates. Total phthalates concentrations in indoor dusts ranged from 269 to 4,831 mg/kg d.w. (d.w. = dry weight). The data show a linear correlation between total PAEs concentration and a single compound content, with the exclusion of the two most volatile components (DMP and DEP) that are present in appreciable amounts only in two samples. These results suggest that most of the PAEs identified in the samples of settled dust originate from the same type of material. This evidence indicates that, in a specific indoor environment, generally is not present only one compound but a mixture having over time comparable percentages of PAEs. Consequently, for routine analyses of a specific indoor environment, only a smaller number of compounds could be determined to value the contamination of that environment. We also note differences in phthalate concentrations between buildings from different construction periods; the total concentration of PAEs was higher in ancient homes compared to those constructed later. This is due to a trend to reduce or remove certain hazardous compounds from building materials and consumer goods. A linear correlation between total PAEs concentration and age of the building was observed (R = 0.71).

PMID:
23807633
PMCID:
PMC3751272
DOI:
10.1007/s10653-013-9544-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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