Associations between PBDEs in office air, dust, and surface wipes.
Increased use of flame-retardants in office furniture may increase exposure to PBDEs in the office environment. However, partitioning of PBDEs within the office environment is not well understood. Our objectives were to examine relationships between concurrent measures of PBDEs in office air, floor dust, and surface wipes. We collected air, dust, and surface wipe samples from 31 offices in Boston, MA. Correlation and linear regression were used to evaluate associations between variables. Geometric mean (GM) concentrations of individual BDE congeners in air and congener specific octanol-air partition coefficients (Koa) were used to predict GM concentrations in dust and surface wipes and compared to the measured concentrations. GM concentrations of PentaBDEs in office air, dust, and surface wipes were 472pg/m(3), 2411ng/g, and 77pg/cm(2), respectively. BDE209 was detected in 100% of dust samples (GM=4202ng/g), 93% of surface wipes (GM=125pg/cm(2)), and 39% of air samples. PentaBDEs in dust and air were moderately correlated with each other (r=0.60, p=0.0003), as well as with PentaBDEs in surface wipes (r=0.51, p=0.003 for both dust and air). BDE209 in dust was correlated with BDE209 in surface wipes (r=0.69, p=0.007). Building (three categories) and PentaBDEs in dust were independent predictors of PentaBDEs in both air and surface wipes, together explaining 50% (p=0.0009) and 48% (p=0.001) of the variation respectively. Predicted and measured concentrations of individual BDE congeners were highly correlated in dust (r=0.98, p<0.0001) and surface wipes (r=0.94, p=002). BDE209 provided an interesting test of this equilibrium partitioning model as it is a low volatility compound. Associations between PentaBDEs in multiple sampling media suggest that collecting dust or surface wipes may be a convenient method of characterizing exposure in the indoor environment. The volatility of individual congeners, as well as physical characteristics of the indoor environment, influence relationships between PBDEs in air, dust, and surface wipes.
Watkins, DJ; McClean, MD; Fraser, AJ; Weinberg, J; Stapleton, HM; Webster, TF
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