Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in house dust and clothes dryer lint.
Few studies have measured the flame retardants polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the indoor environment. Here, we report measurements of PBDEs in house dust samples collected from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area in the United States. Dust samples were analyzed for 22 individual PBDE congeners and our results found PBDEs present in every sample. Concentrations of total PBDEs ranged from 780 ng/g dry mass to 30 100 ng/g dry mass. The dominant congeners observed in the dust samples were congeners associated with the pentaBDE and decaBDE commercial mixtures. Ancillary data were collected on the homes and examined for any correlations with total PBDE concentrations. No correlations were observed with year of house construction, type of flooring (i.e., hardwood vs carpet) or the number of television sets or personal computers in the home. However, a significant inverse correlation (p < 0.05) was observed between the area of the home and the contribution of BDE 209 to the total PBDE concentration in dust. Using estimates of inadvertent dust ingestion (0.02-0.2 g/day) by young children (ages 1-4), we estimate ingestion of total PBDEs to range from 120 to 6000 ng/day. Clothes dryer lint was also sampled and analyzed for PBDEs from five of the homes and were present in all five samples ranging from 480 to 3080 ng/g dry mass. This study demonstrates that PBDEs are prevalent at relatively high concentrations within homes where people, and particularly young children, may be susceptible to exposure.
Stapleton, HM; Dodder, NG; Offenberg, JH; Schantz, MM; Wise, SA
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