Concentrations of brominated and phosphorous flame retardants in Finnish house dust and insights into children's exposure.


National Institute for Health and Welfare, Environmental Health Unit, P.O. Box 95, FI-70701, Kuopio, Finland. Electronic address: [Email]


Brominated and phosphorous flame retardants (BFRs, PFRs) are added to household and consumer products to reduce their flammability. Some FRs are persistent in the environment and may have adverse health effects. As exposure indoors contributes significantly to total exposure, we wanted to estimate the exposure of children (3 years of age) through dust ingestion, inhalation, and dermal absorption. We measured 17 BFRs and 10 PFRs in indoor dust, predicted their respective concentrations in the indoor air and assessed children's exposure. Among the BFRs, decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) had highest median level in the dust (411 ng/g) followed by decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE, 119 ng/g) and bis-ethylhexyl tetrabromophthalate (BEH-TEBP, 106 ng/g). Among the PFRs, trisbutoxyethyl phosphate (TBOEP) had the highest concentration (11100 ng/g) followed by tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCIPP, 1870 ng/g) and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP, 773 ng/g). FR concentration in air predicted from dust concentrations were within the interquartile range of experimental data for 10/13 of BFRs and 4/8 of PFRs compared. Dust ingestion was the major route of exposure (75-99%) for higher molecular weight BFRs, TBOEP and phenyl based PFRs (73-77%). Inhalation was important for volatile BFRs like pentabromobenzene (PBB 71%) and pentabromotoluene (PBT 52%) and dermal exposure for volatile chlorinated PFRs (TCEP 84%, TCIPP 77%). Margins of Exposure (MoE) were calculated as the ratio of total exposure to oral Reference Dose (RfD). MoEs were lowest for TCEP (220), TBOEP (240) and TCIPP (830), and > 1000 for all other FRs. These MoEs imply no risk for Finnish children by the studied FRs.


Brominated flame retardants,Dermal exposure,Dust ingestion,Inhalation exposure,Margin of exposure,Phosphorous flame retardants,

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