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Assessment of dermal exposure to halogenated flame retardants: Comparison using direct measurements from hand wipes with an indirect estimation from settled dust concentrations
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry.
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2018 (English)In: Environment International, ISSN 0160-4120, E-ISSN 1873-6750, Vol. 115, p. 285-294Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There are few studies estimating dermal exposure to halogenated flame retardants in adults. To fill this gap, sixty-one hand wipe samples were collected from a Norwegian adult cohort using gauze pads immersed in isopropanol. BDE-47, BDE-209, bis(2‑ethyl‑hexyl)‑3,4,5,6‑tetrabromophthalate (BEH-TEBP) and decabromodiphenylethane (DBDPE) were the most frequently detected chemicals. The highest median mass in hand wipes was that of sumEHFR (570 ng), followed by sumHBCDD (180 ng) and sumPBDE (2.9 ng). The high EHFR level was mainly driven by tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) which accounted for 77% of the total mass. Positive and significant correlations were observed between FR levels in hand wipes and settled dust (0.26 < r < 0.56, p < 0.05), as well as between FR levels in hand wipes and the number of electronic consumer products at home (0.27 < r < 0.40, p < 0.05). Significant bivariate associations with number of laptops/tablets and phones/mobiles were further confirmed by multivariate linear regression analyses. Dermal exposure was estimated using the levels measured in handwipes. The estimated median dermal exposure was 2600, 840 and 6.2 pg/kg bw/d for sumEHFR, sumHBCDD and sumPBDE, respectively. Further, we compared these results with the dermal exposure as estimated indirectly by utilizing previously reported FR levels in settled dust collected from the residences of the same studied cohort. With the indirect approach, higher dermal exposures to sumPBDE but lower exposures to sumEHFR and sumHBCDD were observed compared to the direct dermal exposure estimated via hand wipes. Comparable exposure estimates between hand wipes and the indirect method were obtained for α‑, β‑tetrabromoethylcyclohexane (DBE-DBCH), DBDPE, BDE-28, -35, -49, -99, -153, 154, and -183. For other individual HFRs, the exposure estimates obtained from the two approaches were significantly different (Mann-Whitney U test, p < 0.05). Both methods gave similar dermal exposure estimates for many individual FRs. However, it is important to be aware of the value and limitations of each method when using them to estimate human exposure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 115, p. 285-294
Keywords [en]
Hand wipes, Dermal exposure, TBBPA, HBCDDs, FRs, Indoor dust
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-155405DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.03.038ISI: 000432523500031OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-155405DiVA, id: diva2:1199310
Available from: 2018-04-20 Created: 2018-04-20 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. What contributes to human body burdens of halogenated flame retardants?: An experimental approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>What contributes to human body burdens of halogenated flame retardants?: An experimental approach
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Flame retardants (FRs) are chemicals added to a broad range of consumer products such as textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture and building material to meet flammability requirements. Most of these chemicals are additives that can continuously leach out from the applied products during usage. FRs are studied because of their abundance in indoor environments and concerns about their impact on human health. The restrictions on many brominated FRs have resulted in a need for their replacement with a variety of emerging halogenated FRs (EHFRs). Humans are exposed to these chemicals mainly through dust and diet ingestion, but there is still insufficient data about the relative importance of other exposure pathways. In this thesis, a Norwegian cohort of 61 adults (age 20-66, 16 males and 45 females) was studied for their exposure to legacy and emerging HFRs. Duplicate diet, stationary air, personal air, settled dust, hand wipe and serum samples were collected from the participants and analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs) and EHFRs. External exposures via dietary intake, air inhalation, dust ingestion and dermal exposure (in pg/kg body weight/day) were estimated from the measured concentrations. The intake values were then compared to elucidate which of these exposure pathways were most important for the Norwegian cohorts’ exposure to specific HFRs. Dietary intake was the predominant exposure route for most of the PBDE congeners and EHFRs, whereas dust ingestion contributed significantly to the exposure of some less volatile HFRs. Inhalation exposure was negligible for most of the target HFRs except for those with higher volatility, such as tetrabromoethylcyclohexane (DBE-DBCH), 2-bromoallyl 2,4,6-tribromophenyl ether (BATE) and 1,2,3,4,5-pentabromobenzene (PBBz). Dermal exposure seems to be a significant exposure pathway for HBCDDs and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) but the relevance of hand wipes to represent total dermal exposure remains uncertain. Overall, the median and 95th percentile total intakes for all target HFRs did not exceed the regulatory reference doses (RfD). Estimated serum concentrations were calculated from total intakes from all exposure pathways using a one compartment pharmacokinetic model and these were compared to measured concentrations. The estimated median serum BDE-47 and BDE-153 concentrations were slightly over-estimated by a factor of 5.5 and 4.3, respectively whereas BDE-197 and -209 were under-estimated by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude compared to the measured concentrations. Statistical analysis suggested that age, number of electronic equipment at home, certain dietary habits, hand washing and house cleaning frequency were possible contributors to HFR exposure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2018. p. 33
Keywords
halogenated flame retardants, air, dust, hand wipes, duplicate diet, serum, human exposure
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-155572 (URN)978-91-7797-177-1 (ISBN)978-91-7797-178-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-15, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
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Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2018-05-23 Created: 2018-04-25 Last updated: 2018-05-09Bibliographically approved

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