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Environ Res. 2019 Apr;171:204-212. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2018.11.034. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Occurrence of legacy and alternative plasticizers in indoor dust from various EU countries and implications for human exposure via dust ingestion and dermal absorption.

Author information

1
Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address: christina.christia@uantwerpen.be.
2
Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium.
3
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, West Midlands, United Kingdom.
4
Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES), Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.
5
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden; MTM Research Centre, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, SE-701 82 Örebro, Sweden.
6
Institute for Environmental Sciences (IVM), VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands.
7
Toxicological Center, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Antwerp, Belgium. Electronic address: adrian.covaci@uantwerpen.be.

Abstract

Plasticizers are a category of chemicals extensively used in consumer products and, consequently, their presence is ubiquitous in the indoor environment. In the present study, an analytical method has been developed for the quantification of plasticizers (7 legacy phthalate esters (LPEs) and 14 alternative plasticizers (APs)) in indoor floor dust based on ultrasonic and vortex extraction, Florisil fractionation and GC-(EI)-MS analysis. Dust samples (n = 54) were collected from homes, offices, and daycare centers from different EU countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Sweden). Method LOQs ranged from 0.2 to 5 μg/g. Tri-n-hexyl trimellitate (THTM) was not detected in any sample, whereas dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diphenyl phthalate and acetyl triethyl citrate (ATEC) were detected only in 6, 2 and 1 out of 54 samples, respectively. The highest concentrations of plasticizers were measured in Swedish offices, at a mean concentration of total plasticizers of 1800 μg/g, followed by Swedish daycare centers at 1200 and 670 μg/g for winter and spring sampling, respectively. Generally, the contribution of APs was slightly higher than for LPEs for all indoor environments (mean contribution 60% and 40%, respectively based on contributions per indoor environment). For the APs, main contributors were DINP in Belgian homes (28%), Swedish offices (60%), Swedish daycare centers (48%), and Dutch offices (31%) and DEHT in Belgian (28%), Irish (40%) and Dutch homes (37%) of total APs. The predominant LPE was bis-2-ethylhexyl-phthalate (DEHP) with a mean contribution varying from 60% to 85% of total LPEs. Human exposure was evaluated for dust ingestion and dermal absorption using hazard quotients (HQs) of plasticizers (ratio between average daily doses and the reference dose). None of the HQs of plasticizers exceeded 1, meaning that the risk for adverse human health effects from these plasticizers via dust ingestion and dermal absorption is unlikely.

KEYWORDS:

Human exposure; Indoor dust; Phthalates; Plasticizers

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