Differential occurrence, profiles and uptake of dust contaminants in the Barcelona urban area.


Department of Environmental Chemistry, IDAEA-CSIC, Jordi Girona 18-26, 08034 Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address: [Email]


Dust is a complex but increasingly used matrix to assess human exposure to organic contaminants both in indoor and outdoor environments. Knowledge concerning the effects of organic pollution towards health outcome is crucial. This study is aimed to determine the presence of legacy compounds (DDTs and polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs), compounds used in recent times (organophosphorous flame retardants, organophosphorous pesticides, BPA, phthalates and alkylphenols) and compounds originated from combustion processes (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs) as well as nicotine in indoor environments along the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Monitored sites include public areas with high turnout (high schools, museums samples) and libraries and private spaces (houses and cars). Almost all compounds (57 over the 59 targeted) were found in each dust sample and libraries and schools were the most contaminated, with concentrations of ∑phthalates and ∑OPFRs up to 15 and 10 mg g-1, respectively. One-way ANOVA tests, Tukey contrasts and principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that sampling place influenced the observed contamination profiles and public and private environments were clearly differentiated. Finally, based on the concentrations detected, a deterministic calculation was performed to estimate the total daily intakes of each compound via dust. This information was used to evaluate the human exposure for toddlers, teenagers and adult workers. Consistently, the highest concentrations coming from plasticisers and flame retardants gave the major exposure rates. As expected, toddlers were the most affected group followed by museum and library workers, although the levels were below the reference doses.


Human exposure,Indoor dust,Library,Museum,Organic contaminants,School,