Characterizing Flame Retardant Applications and Potential Human Exposure in Backpacking Tents.

Published

Journal Article

Flame retardant (FR) chemicals are applied to products to meet flammability standards; however, exposure to some additive FRs has been shown to be associated with adverse health effects. Previous research on FR exposure has primarily focused on chemicals applied to furniture and electronics; however, camping tents sold in the United States, which often meet flammability standard CPAI-84, remain largely unstudied in regards to their chemical treatments. In this study, FRs from five brands of CPAI-84-compliant, two-person backpacking tents were measured and potential exposure was assessed. Dermal and inhalation exposure levels were assessed by collecting hand wipes from 20 volunteers before and after tent setup and by using active air samplers placed inside assembled tents, respectively. Organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) were the most commonly detected FR in the tent materials and included triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCIPP) and tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP). Levels of OPFRS measured on hand wipes were significantly higher post-tent setup compared to pre setup, and in the case of TDCIPP, levels were 29 times higher post setup. OPFRs were also detected at measurable concentrations in the air inside of treated tents. Significant, positive correlations were found between FR levels in treated textiles and measures of dermal and inhalation exposure. These results demonstrate that dermal exposure to FRs occurs from handling camping tents and that inhalation exposure will likely occur while inside a tent.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gomes, G; Ward, P; Lorenzo, A; Hoffman, K; Stapleton, HM

Published Date

  • May 2, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 50 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 5338 - 5345

PubMed ID

  • 27082445

Pubmed Central ID

  • 27082445

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1520-5851

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-936X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1021/acs.est.6b00923

Language

  • eng