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Chemical contaminant exposures assessed using silicone wristbands among occupants in office buildings in the USA, UK, China, and India.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Young, AS; Herkert, N; Stapleton, HM; Cedeño Laurent, JG; Jones, ER; MacNaughton, P; Coull, BA; James-Todd, T; Hauser, R; Luna, ML; Chung, YS ...
Published in: Environment international
November 2021

Little is known about chemical contaminant exposures of office workers in buildings globally. Complex mixtures of harmful chemicals accumulate indoors from building materials, building maintenance, personal products, and outdoor pollution. We evaluated exposures to 99 chemicals in urban office buildings in the USA, UK, China, and India using silicone wristbands worn by 251 participants while they were at work. Here, we report concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other brominated flame retardants (BFRs), organophosphate esters (OPEs), phthalates and phthalate alternatives, pesticides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). First, we found major differences in office worker chemical exposures by country, some of which can be explained by regulations and use patterns. For example, exposures to several pesticides were substantially higher in India where there were fewer restrictions and unique malaria challenges, and exposures to flame retardants tended to be higher in the USA and UK where there were historic, stringent furniture flammability standards. Higher exposures to PAHs in China and India could be due to high levels of outdoor air pollution that penetrates indoors. Second, some office workers were still exposed to legacy PCBs, PBDEs, and pesticides, even decades after bans or phase-outs. Third, we identified exposure to a contemporary PCB that is not covered under legacy PCB bans due to its presence as an unintentional byproduct in materials. Fourth, exposures to novel BFRs, OPEs, and other chemicals commonly used as substitutes to previously phased-out chemicals were ubiquitous. Fifth, some exposures were influenced by individual factors, not just countries and buildings. Phthalate exposures, for example, were related to personal care product use, country restrictions, and building materials. Overall, we found substantial country differences in chemical exposures and continued exposures to legacy phased-out chemicals and their substitutes in buildings. These findings warrant further research on the role of chemicals in office buildings on worker health.

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Published In

Environment international

DOI

EISSN

1873-6750

ISSN

0160-4120

Publication Date

November 2021

Volume

156

Start / End Page

106727

Related Subject Headings

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Silicones
  • Humans
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Flame Retardants
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Air Pollution, Indoor
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
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Young, A. S., Herkert, N., Stapleton, H. M., Cedeño Laurent, J. G., Jones, E. R., MacNaughton, P., … Allen, J. G. (2021). Chemical contaminant exposures assessed using silicone wristbands among occupants in office buildings in the USA, UK, China, and India. Environment International, 156, 106727. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106727
Young, Anna S., Nicholas Herkert, Heather M. Stapleton, Jose Guillermo Cedeño Laurent, Emily R. Jones, Piers MacNaughton, Brent A. Coull, et al. “Chemical contaminant exposures assessed using silicone wristbands among occupants in office buildings in the USA, UK, China, and India.Environment International 156 (November 2021): 106727. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106727.
Young AS, Herkert N, Stapleton HM, Cedeño Laurent JG, Jones ER, MacNaughton P, et al. Chemical contaminant exposures assessed using silicone wristbands among occupants in office buildings in the USA, UK, China, and India. Environment international. 2021 Nov;156:106727.
Young, Anna S., et al. “Chemical contaminant exposures assessed using silicone wristbands among occupants in office buildings in the USA, UK, China, and India.Environment International, vol. 156, Nov. 2021, p. 106727. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.envint.2021.106727.
Young AS, Herkert N, Stapleton HM, Cedeño Laurent JG, Jones ER, MacNaughton P, Coull BA, James-Todd T, Hauser R, Luna ML, Chung YS, Allen JG. Chemical contaminant exposures assessed using silicone wristbands among occupants in office buildings in the USA, UK, China, and India. Environment international. 2021 Nov;156:106727.
Journal cover image

Published In

Environment international

DOI

EISSN

1873-6750

ISSN

0160-4120

Publication Date

November 2021

Volume

156

Start / End Page

106727

Related Subject Headings

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Silicones
  • Humans
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Flame Retardants
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Air Pollution, Indoor