Publications by authors named "Lisa Melymuk"

45 Publications

Application of land use regression modelling to describe atmospheric levels of semivolatile organic compounds on a national scale.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Nov 19;793:148520. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

RECETOX, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, 625 00 Brno, Czechia.

Despite the success of passive sampler-based monitoring networks in capturing global atmospheric distributions of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), their limited spatial resolution remains a challenge. Adequate spatial coverage is necessary to better characterize concentration gradients, identify point sources, estimate human exposure, and evaluate the effectiveness of chemical regulations such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Land use regression (LUR) modelling can be used to integrate land use characteristics and other predictor variables (industrial emissions, traffic intensity, demographics, etc.) to describe or predict the distribution of air concentrations at unmeasured locations across a region or country. While LUR models are frequently applied to data-rich conventional air pollutants such as particulate matter, ozone, and nitrogen oxides, they are rarely applied to SVOCs. The MONET passive air sampling network (RECETOX, Masaryk University) continuously measures atmospheric SVOC levels across Czechia in monthly intervals. Using monitoring data from 29 MONET sites over a two-year period (2015-2017) and a variety of predictor variables, we developed LUR models to describe atmospheric levels and identify sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and DDT across the country. Strong and statistically significant (R > 0.6; p < 0.05) models were derived for PAH and PCB levels on a national scale. The PAH model retained three predictor variables - heating emissions represented by domestic fuel consumption, industrial PAH point sources, and the hill:valley index, a measure of site topography. The PCB model retained two predictor variables - site elevation, and secondary sources of PCBs represented by soil concentrations. These models were then applied to Czechia as a whole, highlighting the spatial variability of atmospheric SVOC levels, and providing a tool that can be used for further optimization of sampling network design, as well as evaluating potential human and environmental chemical exposures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148520DOI Listing
November 2021

Removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances from aqueous media using synthesized silver nanocomposite-activated carbons.

J Environ Health Sci Eng 2021 Jun 7;19(1):217-236. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Environmental, Water & Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science, Tshwane University of Technology, Arcadia Campus, Private Bag X680, Pretoria, 0001 South Africa.

Purpose: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been found to be widespread, extremely persistent and bioaccumulative with toxicity tendencies. Pre-synthesized nanocomposite-activated carbons, referred to, as physically activated maize tassel silver (PAMTAg) and chemically activated maize tassel silver (CAMTAg) were utilized in the present study. They were used for the removal of 10 PFAS from aqueous solutions.

Methods: The nanocomposite-activated carbons were characterized via scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Brunauer Emmett Teller (BET) and other techniques. Batch equilibrium experiments were conducted in order to investigate the effects of solution pH, adsorbent dosage, initial PFAS concentration and temperature on the removal of PFAS using PAMTAg and CAMTAg. Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models were used to analyse the equilibrium data obtained.

Results: Maximum adsorption capacities of 454.1 mg/g (0.91 mmol/g) and 321.2 mg/g (0.78 mmol/g) were recorded for perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), respectively using CAMTAg. The values recorded for the Gibbs' free energy (ΔG°) for the adsorption of PFOS and PFOA onto PAMTAg and CAMTAg were negative; PFOS (-9.61, -9.99 and - 10.39), PFOA (-8.77, -9.76 and - 10.21) using PAMTAg; and PFOS (-13.70, -12.70 and - 12.37), PFOA (-12.86, -12.21 and - 11.17) using CAMTAg. Therefore, the adsorption processes were spontaneous and feasible. The values recorded for enthalpy (ΔH°) (kJ/mol) for the adsorption of PFOS (-26.15) and PFOA (-35.86) onto CAMTAg were negative, indicating that the adsorption mechanism is exothermic in nature. Positive values were recorded for ΔH° for the adsorption of PFOS (2.32) and PFOA (12.69) onto PAMTAg, indicative of an endothermic adsorption mechanism. Positive entropy (ΔS°) values (0.04 and 0.07) were recorded for PFOS and PFOA using PAMTAg; whereas negative values (-0.04 and - 0.08) were recorded for ΔS° using CAMTAg. A positive ΔS° indicates an increase in randomness of the adsorbate at the solid-solution interface and the reverse is the case for a negative ΔS°.

Conclusion: The interplay of electrostatic attraction and hydrophobic interactions enabled the removal of PFAS using PAMTAg and CAMTAg. Findings suggest that PAMTAg and CAMTAg are effective for the removal of PFAS from aqueous media and are good alternatives to commercially available activated carbons.

Graphical Abstract:

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s40201-020-00597-3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40201-020-00597-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8172664PMC
June 2021

Calibration of silicone for passive sampling of semivolatile organic contaminants in indoor air.

Chemosphere 2021 Sep 8;279:130536. Epub 2021 Apr 8.

RECETOX, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, 625 00, Brno, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

Semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) are mostly man-made chemicals that distribute between the gas and solid phase in the environment. Many of them could pose harm to people and therefore it is important to know their concentrations in the indoor environment to evaluate the related risks. Inhalation exposure can be assessed using passive sampling. In this study, we employed silicone elastomer as a passive sampler for monitoring gaseous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in indoor air. We performed a sampler calibration study in which samplers consisting of 0.5 mm thick silicone sheets with a total surface area of 300 cm were exposed to indoor air in a university lecture theatre for up to 56 days. Uptake kinetics of SVOCs was studied by collecting 2 samplers every week. The results were used to develop a model based on mass transfer theory that can be used to estimate the air sampling rate R as a function of compound's molecular volume. We examined release kinetics of performance reference compounds that covered a broad range of silicone-air partition coefficient (log K 5.95-9.49) and investigated a hypothesis of isotropic exchange kinetics, i.e. equality of rate constants for uptake and release, of SVOCs. PCBs and OCPs concentration in air calculated from contaminant amounts accumulated in passive samplers were in good agreement with those determined by active sampling running simultaneously during the entire study. The use of performance reference compounds is suitable for in situ passive sampler calibration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.130536DOI Listing
September 2021

Endocrine disrupting potential of replacement flame retardants - Review of current knowledge for nuclear receptors associated with reproductive outcomes.

Environ Int 2021 08 10;153:106550. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, RECETOX, Kamenice 5, CZ62500 Brno, Czechia. Electronic address:

Background And Aim: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) constitute a major public health concern because they can induce a large spectrum of adverse effects by interfering with the hormonal system. Rapid identification of potential EDCs using in vitro screenings is therefore critical, particularly for chemicals of emerging concerns such as replacement flame retardants (FRs). The review aimed at identifying (1) data gaps and research needs regarding endocrine disrupting (ED) properties of replacement FRs and (2) potential EDCs among these emerging chemicals.

Methods: A systematic search was performed from open literature and ToxCast/Tox21 programs, and results from in vitro tests on the activities of 52 replacement FRs towards five hormone nuclear receptors (NRs) associated with reproductive outcomes (estrogen, androgen, glucocorticoid, progesterone, and aryl hydrocarbon receptors) were compiled and organized into tables. Findings were complemented with information from structure-based in silico model predictions and in vivo information when relevant.

Results: For the majority of the 52 replacement FRs, experimental in vitro data on activities towards these five NRs were either incomplete (15 FRs) or not found (24 FRs). Within the replacement FRs for which effect data were found, some appeared as candidate EDCs, such as triphenyl phosphate (TPhP) and tris(1,3-dichloropropyl)phosphate (TDCIPP). The search also revealed shared ED profiles. For example, anti-androgenic activity was reported for 19 FRs and predicted for another 21 FRs.

Discussion: This comprehensive review points to critical gaps in knowledge on ED potential for many replacement FRs, including chemicals to which the general population is likely exposed. Although this review does not cover all possible characteristics of ED, it allowed the identification of potential EDCs associated with reproductive outcomes, calling for deeper evaluation and possibly future regulation of these chemicals. By identifying shared ED profiles, this work also raises concerns for mixture effects since the population is co-exposed to several FRs and other chemicals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106550DOI Listing
August 2021

Targeted and suspect screening of plasticizers in house dust to assess cumulative human exposure risk.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Aug 23;781:146667. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

RECETOX, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, pavilion D29, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Indoor dust is an important exposure route to anthropogenic chemicals used in consumer products. Plasticizers are common product additives and can easily leach out of the product and partition to dust. Investigations of plasticizers typically focus on a subset of phthalate esters (PEs), but there are many more PEs in use, and alternative plasticizers (APs) are seeing greater use after recognition of adverse health effects of PEs. In this study we use full scan high resolution mass spectrometry for targeted and suspect screening of PEs and APs in house dust and to assess the potential risk of human exposure. House dust samples from Eastern Slovakia were investigated and concentrations of ∑PEs and ∑APs ranged 12-2765 μg/g and 45-13,260 μg/g, respectively. APs were at similar levels to PEs, indicating common usage of these compounds in products in homes. Evaluation of individual compound toxicity combined with human intake via dust ingestion suggested PEs are of lower priority compared to semivolatile organic compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls due to their lower toxicity. However, cumulative risk assessment (CRA) is a more appropriate evaluation of risk, considering the presences of many PEs in dust and their similar toxic mode of action. CRA based on median toxicity reference values (TRVs) suggested acceptable risks for dust ingestion, however, the wide range of literature-derived TRVs is a large uncertainty, especially for the APs. Use of newer TRVs suggest risk from dust ingestion alone, i.e. not even considering diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. Additionally, screening of full-scan instrumental spectra identified a further 40 suspect PE compounds, suggesting the CRA based on the 12 target PEs underestimates the risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.146667DOI Listing
August 2021

Emerging investigator series: air conditioning filters as a sampler for semi-volatile organic compounds in indoor and near-building air.

Environ Sci Process Impacts 2020 Dec;22(12):2322-2331

RECETOX, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Organic compounds like flame retardants (FRs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are consistently found in both indoor and outdoor environments. There are many possible matrices for measurement of these compounds (e.g. indoor dust, air - passive and active air samples), but all methods have limitations, like the heterogeneous distribution of indoor dust, or noisy active air samplers. We used filters from building-wide heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units to evaluate levels of PAHs, PCBs, OCPs and NFRs in indoor and outdoor environments, and to evaluate whether this method is feasible for screening semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in indoor and near-building outdoor environments. Detectable levels of FRs, PCBs, OCPs and PAHs were found, demonstrating that HVAC filters do collect SVOCs, with generally higher levels of PAHs in the incoming air filters and higher levels of PCBs, OCPs and FRs in the outgoing air filters. Levels of FRs, PCBs and OCPs in outgoing air were comparable to those measured using conventional active air sampling in the same building. The advantages of using HVAC filters are (1) integrated and homogeneous samples, as the whole building is sampled over typically a long timescale (months), and (2) samples are easy and cheap to collect and do not require prior deployment of samplers. The key disadvantage is that HVAC filters are not designed for analytical chemistry and thus the filter materials can have variable or unknown gas sorption and particle capture, and can have strong matrix effects during analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0em00284dDOI Listing
December 2020

Exposure of Canadian electronic waste dismantlers to flame retardants.

Environ Int 2019 08 21;129:95-104. Epub 2019 May 21.

Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Occupational Cancer Research Center, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address:

Exposure of e-waste workers to eight halogenated and five organophosphate ester flame retardant chemicals (FRs) was studied at a Canadian e-waste dismantling facility. FR concentrations were measured in air and dust samples collected at a central location and at four work benches over five-24 hour periods spanning two weeks. The highest concentrations in air from workbenches were of BDE-209 (median 156 ng m), followed by Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP, median 59 ng m). Dust concentrations at the workbenches were higher than those measured at the central location, consistent with the release of contaminated dust during dismantling. Dust concentrations from the workbenches were also dominated by BDE-209 (median 96,300 ng g), followed by Triphenyl phosphate (TPhP, median 47,000 ng g). Most FRs were in coarse particles 5.6-18 μm diameter and ~30% were in respirable particles (<~3 μm). Exposure estimates indicated that dust ingestion accounted for 63% of total FR exposure; inhalation and dermal absorption contributed 35 and 2%, respectively. Some air and dust concentrations as well as some estimated exposures in this formal facility in a high-income country exceeded those from informal e-waste facilities located in low and middle income countries. Although there is demonstrated toxicity of some FRs, FR exposure in the e-waste industry has received minimal attention and occupational limits do not exist for most FRs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.04.056DOI Listing
August 2019

Flame retardants and plasticizers in a Canadian waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) dismantling facility.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Jul 19;675:594-603. Epub 2019 Apr 19.

School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States. Electronic address:

Here we report on the concentrations of 79 flame retardants (FRs) and plasticizers, including 34 polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDE congeners, 17 "novel" brominated FRs (NBFRs), 15 dechloranes, and 13 organophosphate esters (OPEs) in air (n = 9) and dust (n = 24) samples from an active waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) dismantling facility in Ontario, Canada, collected in February-March 2017. This is the first study of its kind in North America. The facility processes a range of WEEE including monitors, computers, printers, phones, and toys. Of the 79 target compounds, at least 60 were detected at a frequency of at least 50% in both air and dust. Dust and air concentrations were dominated by three compounds: BDE-209 (median 110,000 ng/g and 100 ng/m, respectively), DBDPE (median 41,000 ng/g and 41 ng/m), and TPhP (median 42,000 ng/g and 27 ng/m). Levels of PBDEs, NBFRs, and dechloranes were close to two orders-of-magnitude higher in dust from the dismantling facility than in residential homes, while OPEs were one order-of-magnitude higher. Congener profiles of PBDEs indicated debromination of BDE-209. We calculated that a total mass of 44 ± 1 mg day of 79 target analytes were released to air from WEEE processed in the dismantling hall and a further 270 ± 91 mg day were released to dust. It is clear that WEEE dismantling facilities are a serious concern as a source of emissions for a wide range of FRs at relatively high concentrations to both workers and the immediate environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.265DOI Listing
July 2019

Linking past uses of legacy SVOCs with today's indoor levels and human exposure.

Environ Int 2019 06 13;127:653-663. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Department of Environmental Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, Slovak Medical University, Limbová 12, 83303 Bratislava, Slovakia.

Semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) emitted from consumer products, building materials, and indoor and outdoor activities can be highly persistent in indoor environments. Human exposure to and environmental contamination with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was previously reported in a region near a former PCB production facility in Slovakia. However, we found that the indoor residential PCB levels did not correlate with the distance from the facility. Rather, indoor levels in this region and those reported in the literature were related to the historic PCB use on a national scale and the inferred presence of primary sources of PCBs in the homes. Other SVOCs had levels linked with either the activities in the home, e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) with wood heating; or outdoor activities, e.g., organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) with agricultural land use and building age. We propose a classification framework to prioritize SVOCs for monitoring in indoor environments and to evaluate risks from indoor SVOC exposures. Application of this framework to 88 measured SVOCs identified several PCB congeners (CB-11, -28, -52), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), benzo(a)pyrene, and γ-HCH as priority compounds based on high exposure and toxicity assessed by means of toxicity reference values (TRVs). Application of the framework to many emerging compounds such as novel flame retardants was not possible because of either no or outdated TRVs. Concurrent identification of seven SVOC groups in indoor environments provided information on their comparative levels and distributions, their sources, and informed our assessment of associated risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.04.001DOI Listing
June 2019

Forty-five Years of Foam: A Retrospective on Air Sampling with Polyurethane Foam.

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2019 04 15;102(4):447-449. Epub 2019 Mar 15.

RECETOX, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5/753, 62500, Brno, Czech Republic.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00128-019-02591-4DOI Listing
April 2019

Spatial gradients of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in air, atmospheric deposition, and surface water of the Ganges River basin.

Sci Total Environ 2018 Jun 20;627:1495-1504. Epub 2018 Feb 20.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Brno 62500, Czech Republic; Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Gaustadalleen 21, Oslo 0349, Norway.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are ubiquitous semi-volatile organic pollutants. Their environmental occurrence is of global concern as some of them are carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens. In this study, concentrations and distributions of 16 priority PAHs (∑PAHs) were measured in air, atmospheric deposition, and surface water at various locations in Himalayan, Middle, and Lower Reaches of the Ganges River, covering a spatial transect of 2500km, during two seasons (pre-monsoon and monsoon). The concentration of ∑PAHs ranged between 2.2 and 182.2ngm in air, between 186 and 8810ngmday in atmospheric deposition, and between 0.05 and 65.9ngL in surface water. Air concentrations were strongly correlated with human population density. In the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Ganges River, atmospheric PAHs were mainly attributed to fossil fuel combustion sources. In the Himalayan Reach the influence of forest fire or biomass combustion was evident during the dry pre-monsoon season. Seasonality in concentrations of PAHs in river water was evident in the Himalayan Reach of the river, as a probable consequence of climate-modulated secondary source intensity (i.e. releases from glacier melting). Seasonality faded in the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Ganges where water contamination is expected to mainly reflect anthropogenic primary sources. Ambient air concentrations were used to calculate the probabilistic incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR). It was expectedly found to be higher in the Middle and Lower Reaches compared to the Himalayan Reach. The strong correlation between population density and air concentrations suggests population density may be used as a surrogate variable to assess human health risk in data-sparse regions such as the Ganges River basin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.01.262DOI Listing
June 2018

Urban sources of synthetic musk compounds to the environment.

Environ Sci Process Impacts 2019 Jan;21(1):74-88

Air Quality Processes Research Section, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, Ontario M3H 5T4, Canada.

The occurrence and potential sources of synthetic musk compounds (SMCs) in the urban and surrounding environment were investigated. We analyzed air, soils and surface waters from a wide array of land-use types and urban densities including air from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), indoor, urban, rural, and remote Arctic sites; surface waters from urban and rural tributaries; and effluents of three WWTPs. In air, the median sum concentration of six selected polycyclic musks (Σ6PCMs) (i.e., galaxolide, tonalide, cashmeran, celestolide, phantolide, traseolide) were the highest from WWTP on-site > indoor > urban > WWTP off-site > rural. SMCs were not found in remote Arctic air indicating low potential for long-range atmospheric transport. SMCs were not found in soils, likely because of their high volatility and fast biodegradation rate. Galaxolide (HHCB) and tonalide (AHTN) were the two most abundant SMCs in air, tributaries and WWTP effluents. Σ6PCM concentrations in air taken along urban-rural transects and in tributary water were positively correlated with population density. In WWTP on-site air, trace levels of the toxic nitro-musks, namely musk xylene and musk ketone were detected and macrocyclic musks accounted for ∼10% of the total SMCs measured. In WWTP effluents, the concentrations of Σ6PCMs were proportional to the population served. We conclude that sources of SMCs to the outdoor urban environment and hence the surrounding region, originate from releases from indoor air, and temperature-dependent volatilization from WWTPs during treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8em00341fDOI Listing
January 2019

Hexabromocyclododecane: concentrations and isomer profiles from sources to environmental sinks.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2018 Dec 30;25(36):36624-36635. Epub 2018 Oct 30.

Faculty of Science, RECETOX (Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment), Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, 625 00, Brno, Czech Republic.

Concentrations and isomer compositions of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) were measured in six matrices in the Czech Republic (HBCD technical mixture; consumer products; indoor and outdoor air at industrial, urban and background locations; soils; and sediments) to provide insight into changes in concentrations and isomer profiles between environmental sources and environmental sinks. A distinct gradient of air concentrations was observed, from 1600 ng/m in the industrial area to < 10 pg/m in urban and background air. Isomer profiles also showed a distinct gradient in air, from 95% γ-HBCD in industrial air to 40% γ-HBCD in background air, suggesting the influence of differential atmospheric transport and phototransformation of γ- to α-HBCD. Concentrations and isomer compositions in consumer products were highly variable and indicated differences between products with intentional addition of HBCD as a flame retardant versus those with HBCD as an impurity, e.g., from recycled plastic. Understanding the isomer-specific environmental distributions and processes remains important for risk assessment and toxicology, considering the continued use of HBCD and the isomer-specific differences in uptake, metabolism, and toxicity, and further, demonstrates the utility of isomer profiles to better understand environmental processes of HBCDs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-3381-4DOI Listing
December 2018

Tri(2,4-di- t-butylphenyl) Phosphate: A Previously Unrecognized, Abundant, Ubiquitous Pollutant in the Built and Natural Environment.

Environ Sci Technol 2018 11 30;52(22):12997-13003. Epub 2018 Oct 30.

School of Public and Environmental Affairs , Indiana University , Bloomington , Indiana 47405 , United States.

Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, we identified tri(2,4-di- t-butylphenyl) phosphate (TDTBPP) in e-waste dust. This is a previously unsuspected pollutant that had not been reported before in the environment. To assess its abundance in the environment, we measured its concentration in e-waste dust, house dust, sediment from the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, Indiana Harbor water filters, and filters from high-volume air samplers deployed in Chicago, IL. To provide a context for interpreting these quantitative results, we also measured the concentrations of triphenyl phosphate (TPhP), a structurally similar compound, in these samples. Median concentrations of TDTBPP and TPhP were 14 400 and 41 500 ng/g, respectively, in e-waste dust and 4900 and 2100 ng/g, respectively, in house dust. TDTBPP was detected in sediment, water, and air with median concentrations of 527 ng/g, 3700 pg/L, and 149 pg/m, respectively. TDTBPP concentrations were generally higher or comparable to those of TPhP in all media analyzed, except for the e-waste dust. Exposure from dust ingestion and dermal absorption in the e-waste recycling facility and in homes was calculated. TDTBPP exposure was 571 ng/kg bw/day in the e-waste recycling facility (pro-rated for an 8-h shift), and 536 ng/kg bw and 7550 ng/kg bw/day for adults and toddlers, respectively, in residential environments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b02939DOI Listing
November 2018

Characterizing Spatial Diversity of Passive Sampling Sites for Measuring Levels and Trends of Semivolatile Organic Chemicals.

Environ Sci Technol 2018 09 29;52(18):10599-10608. Epub 2018 Aug 29.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, RECETOX , Kamenice 5 , 625 00 Brno , Czech Republic.

Passive air sampling of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) is a relatively inexpensive method that facilitates extensive campaigns with numerous sampling sites. An important question in the design of passive-sampling networks concerns the number and location of samplers. We investigate this question with the example of 17 SVOCs sampled at 14 background sites across the Czech Republic. More than 200 time series (length 5-11 years) were used to characterize SVOC levels and trends in air between 2003 and 2015. Six polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 6 polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and 5 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) at 14 sites were assessed using data from the MONET passive sampling network. Significant decreases were found for most PCBs and OCPs whereas hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and most PAHs showed (mostly insignificant) increases. Spatial variability was rather low for PCBs and OCPs except for dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and rather high for PAHs. The variability of the SVOC levels and trends depends on characteristics of the sites including their remoteness, landscape, population, and pollution sources. The sites can be grouped in distinct clusters, which helps to identify similar and, thereby, potentially redundant sites. This information is useful when monitoring networks need to be optimized regarding the location and number of sites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b03414DOI Listing
September 2018

Challenges in the Analysis of Novel Flame Retardants in Indoor Dust: Results of the INTERFLAB 2 Interlaboratory Evaluation.

Environ Sci Technol 2018 08 31;52(16):9295-9303. Epub 2018 Jul 31.

Wellington Laboratories Inc. , 345 Southgate Drive , Guelph , Ontario N1G 3M5 , Canada.

The Interlaboratory Study of Novel Flame Retardants (INTERFLAB 2) was conducted by 20 laboratories in 12 countries to test the precision and accuracy of the analysis of 24 "novel" flame retardants (NFRs). Laboratories analyzed NFRs in injection-ready test mixtures, in extracts of residential dust, and in residential dust to evaluate the influence of dust handling and extraction. For test mixtures, mean reported concentrations of PBT, PBEB, EH-TBB, TBBPA, TBDP-TAZTO, TBOEP, α-TBCO, β-DBE-DBCH, and total HBCDD differed by >25% relative to reference values. Coefficients of variation were higher in dusts/dust extracts than in test mixtures. Concentrations among laboratories ranged over 3-4 orders of magnitude for HBB, TBP-DBPE, TBP-AE, and TDCIPP in dust extracts and dusts. Most laboratories produced repeatable dust concentrations, but differences reported in the literature among laboratories of <70% could be due to analytical variability, and the attribution of such differences to other causes should be made with caution. Most variations in accuracy and precision were introduced by matrix effects and/or sample processing, rather than instrumental analysis. We recommend recovery correction to improve accuracy. There is a need to improve analytical methods and to validate methods on complex matrices such as standard reference materials for dust or spiked matrices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b02715DOI Listing
August 2018

PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in indoor environments - A comparison of indoor contamination in Canada and Czech Republic.

Chemosphere 2018 Sep 3;206:622-631. Epub 2018 May 3.

RECETOX, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, Pavilion A29, 62500, Brno, Czech Republic.

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are restricted compounds that are ubiquitously detected in the environment, including indoor matrices such as air and residential dust. We report concentrations of PCBs and selected OCPs in indoor air and dust from homes in Canada (23 homes) and Czech Republic (20 homes). Indoor air concentrations of PCBs and OCPs were ∼10 times higher than that outdoors. PCB concentrations of ∼450 ng/m were similar in both countries, higher in homes built before the restrictions on PCBs, and had congener profiles consistent with PCB mixtures manufactured or used in each country. All OCP air concentrations were higher in the Czech Republic than in the Canadian samples, suggesting greater indoor use of, for example, DDT and HCH. These data emphasize the persistence of these organochlorine compounds indoors and their presence in homes even decades after new usage was prohibited. Indoor levels of these legacy POPs remain at similar concentrations to compounds of current concern, such as brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated alkyl substances, emphasizing that they deserve ongoing attention in view of knowledge of PCB and OCP toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.05.016DOI Listing
September 2018

Small-scale spatial variability of flame retardants in indoor dust and implications for dust sampling.

Chemosphere 2018 Sep 23;206:132-141. Epub 2018 Apr 23.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.

Indoor dust is often used to evaluate levels of organic compounds indoors, particularly for compounds with indoor sources, such as flame retardants (FRs). Yet there are uncertainties about the type of information that can be obtained from indoor dust. This study reports detailed dust sampling to assess spatial variability in indoor dust concentrations, the relationship between FR sources and dust, and the implications when interpreting dust concentrations. Multiple dust samples were collected from a range of surface types in three large rooms: a residential flat, a university seminar room, and a university computer room. Samples were analysed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), novel halogenated flame retardants (NFRs) and organophosphate esters (OPEs). FR levels in dust varied significantly between and within rooms. Levels typically ranged over one order of magnitude within a room, and up to four orders of magnitude for a few OPEs. The spatial distribution of FRs related (in some cases) to proximity to sources, surface properties, and dust surface loadings. Differences also existed between surface and floor dusts, e.g., the contribution of TBOEP to ∑OPEs was higher in floor than surface dust, which has implications for human exposure assessment; adults typically have more contact with elevated surfaces, while young children have greater contact with floor surfaces. Overall, significant spatial heterogeneity exists in indoor dust, even in seemingly homogeneous indoor spaces, thus hampering comparability between studies and locations when single samples are collected. Composite samples are strongly recommended to limit the influence of spatial heterogeneity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.04.146DOI Listing
September 2018

Estimation of p,p'-DDT degradation in soil by modeling and constraining hydrological and biogeochemical controls.

Environ Pollut 2018 Aug 11;239:179-188. Epub 2018 Apr 11.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, Brno, 62500, Czech Republic; Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Oslo, NO-0349, Norway. Electronic address:

Despite not being used for decades in most countries, DDT remains ubiquitous in soils due to its persistence and intense past usage. Because of this it is still a pollutant of high global concern. Assessing long term dissipation of DDT from this reservoir is fundamental to understand future environmental and human exposure. Despite a large research effort, key properties controlling fate in soil (in particular, the degradation half-life (τ)) are far from being fully quantified. This paper describes a case study in a large central European catchment where hundreds of measurements of p,p'-DDT concentrations in air, soil, river water and sediment are available for the last two decades. The goal was to deliver an integrated estimation of τ by constraining a state-of-the-art hydrobiogeochemical-multimedia fate model of the catchment against the full body of empirical data available for this area. The INCA-Contaminants model was used for this scope. Good predictive performance against an (external) dataset of water and sediment concentrations was achieved with partitioning properties taken from the literature and τ estimates obtained from forcing the model against empirical historical data of p,p'-DDT in the catchment multicompartments. This approach allowed estimation of p,p'-DDT degradation in soil after taking adequate consideration of losses due to runoff and volatilization. Estimated τ ranged over 3000-3800 days. Degradation was the most important loss process, accounting on a yearly basis for more than 90% of the total dissipation. The total dissipation flux from the catchment soils was one order of magnitude higher than the total current atmospheric input estimated from atmospheric concentrations, suggesting that the bulk of p,p'-DDT currently being remobilized or lost is essentially that accumulated over two decades ago.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.022DOI Listing
August 2018

Alternative Flame Retardant, 2,4,6-Tris(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)-1,3,5-triazine, in an E-waste Recycling Facility and House Dust in North America.

Environ Sci Technol 2018 03 6;52(6):3599-3607. Epub 2018 Mar 6.

School of Public and Environmental Affairs , Indiana University , Bloomington , Indiana 47405 , United States.

A high molecular weight compound, 2,4,6-tris(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)-1,3,5-triazine (TTBP-TAZ), was detected during the analysis of brominated flame retardants in dust samples collected from an electrical and electronic waste (e-waste) recycling facility in Ontario, Canada. Gas chromatography coupled with both high-resolution and low-resolution mass spectrometry (MS) was used to determine TTBP-TAZ's chemical structure and concentrations. To date, TTBP-TAZ has only been detected in plastic casings of electrical and electronic equipment and house dust from The Netherlands. Here we report on the concentrations of TTBP-TAZ in selected samples from North America: e-waste dust ( n = 7) and air ( n = 4), residential dust ( n = 30), and selected outdoor air ( n = 146), precipitation ( n = 19), sediment ( n = 11) and water ( n = 2) samples from the Great Lakes environment. TTBP-TAZ was detected in all the e-waste dust and air samples, and in 70% of residential dust samples. The median concentrations of TTBP-TAZ in these three types of samples were 5540 ng/g, 5.75 ng/m and 6.76 ng/g, respectively. The flame retardants 2,4,6-tribromophenol, tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) isocyanurate, and 3,3',5,5'-tetrabromobisphenol A bis(2,3-dibromopropyl) ether, BDE-47 and BDE-209 were also measured for comparison. None of these other flame retardants concentrations was significantly correlated with those of TTBP-TAZ in any of the sample types suggesting different sources. TTBP-TAZ was not detected in any of the outdoor environmental samples, which may relate to its application history and physicochemical properties. This is the first report of TTBP-TAZ in North America.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b06139DOI Listing
March 2018

Changes in Flame Retardant and Legacy Contaminant Concentrations in Indoor Air during Building Construction, Furnishing, and Use.

Environ Sci Technol 2017 Oct 27;51(20):11891-11899. Epub 2017 Sep 27.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Kamenice 753/5, 62500 Brno, Czech Republic.

A newly constructed university building was selected for targeted assessment of changes in the levels of flame retardants and legacy contaminants during the installation of building equipment, furniture, electronics, and first year of building use. Indoor air samples were collected during several periods of intensive equipment installation to determine a relationship between newly introduced equipment and changes in the concentrations and profiles of contaminants in indoor air. Samples were analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs), and new types of flame retardants: brominated (BFRs) and organophosphate esters (OPEs). Additionally, typical outdoor contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were also analyzed for comparison. From the set of 90 compounds analyzed here, hexabromobenzene (HBB) and tris(2-chloroisopropyl)phosphate (TCIPP) showed a significant concentration increase in indoor air concentrations during computer installation and operation, suggesting emission by operating computers, while an order of magnitude concentration increase in tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCIPP) and tri-m-cresyl phosphate (TMTP) was observed after the furniture and carpet was introduced to the computer room, suggesting furniture or carpet as a source. However, the majority of compounds had no systematic change in concentrations during equipment installation, indicating that no sources of target compounds were introduced or, that source introduction was not reflected in indoor air concentrations. Generally, low levels of legacy flame retardants compared to their novel alternatives were observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b03245DOI Listing
October 2017

Organochlorine pesticides in the indoor air of a theatre and museum in the Czech Republic: Inhalation exposure and cancer risk.

Sci Total Environ 2017 Dec 27;609:598-606. Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Kamenice 753/5, 62500 Brno, Czech Republic.

Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) have been used to preserve the integrity of historical buildings or to protect collections of artefacts at potentially large volumes and often without detailed application records. Previous research has focused on the efficiency of remediation at contaminated sites (where identified), as well as improvement of preservation techniques and workplace health and safety. Few studies have assessed the human health risks from occupational exposure to OCPs in buildings of cultural and historical importance. Thus, potential risks may remain unidentified. In the present study, OCPs in indoor air were measured in a baroque theatre and a natural history museum in the Czech Republic, both of which had suspected past indoor application. In the theatre attic p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) levels in air were up to 190ngm, confirming past indoor use of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p'-DDT). There was also evidence of γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCH) use in the theatre (max γ-HCH in air of 56ngm). Yet, the cancer risk (CR) from occupational exposure via inhalation (Exp) to OCPs in the theatre was low (CR<4.0×10). γ-HCH was found at elevated levels in air of the museum (max γ-HCH in air of 15,000ngm). CR from Exp in the museum was moderate to high (>1×10). Our results show the CR through Exp to OCPs in buildings, such as museums can still be significant enough to warrant mitigation measures, e.g., remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.07.203DOI Listing
December 2017

Organophosphate esters flame retardants in the indoor environment.

Environ Int 2017 09;106:97-104

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, pavilion A29, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Concentrations of 13 organophosphate ester flame retardants (OPEs) were measured in air, dust and window wipes from 63 homes in Canada, the Czech Republic and the United States in the spring and summer of 2013 to look for abundances, differences among regions, and partitioning behavior. In general, we observed the highest concentrations for halogenated OPEs, particularly TCEP, TCIPP and TDCIPP, and also non-halogenated TPHP. Differences between regions strongly depended on the matrix. The concentrations of OPEs in dust were significantly higher in the US than in Canada (CAN) and Czech Republic (CZ). CZ had the highest concentrations in window film and CAN in air. ΣOPE concentrations were 2-3 and 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than ΣBFRs in air, and dust and window films, respectively. We found a significant relationship between the concentrations in dust and air, and between the concentrations in window film and air for OPEs with log K values <12, suggesting that equilibrium was reached for these compounds but not for those with log K>12. This hypothesis was confirmed by a large discrepancy between values predicted using a partitioning model and the measured values for OPEs with log K values >12.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2017.05.020DOI Listing
September 2017

Using long-term air monitoring of semi-volatile organic compounds to evaluate the uncertainty in polyurethane-disk passive sampler-derived air concentrations.

Environ Pollut 2017 Jan 16;220(Pt B):1100-1111. Epub 2016 Nov 16.

RECETOX -Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, 625 00 Brno, Czechia.

Much effort has been made to standardise sampling procedures, laboratory analysis, data analysis, etc. for semi volatile organic contaminants (SVOCs). Yet there are some unresolved issues in regards to comparing measurements from one of the most commonly used passive samplers (PAS), the polyurethane foam (PUF) disk PAS (PUF-PAS), between monitoring networks or different studies. One such issue is that there is no universal means to derive a sampling rate (R) or to calculate air concentrations (C) from PUF-PAS measurements for SVOCs. C was calculated from PUF-PAS measurements from a long-term monitoring program at a site in central Europe applying current understanding of passive sampling theory coupled with a consideration for the sampling of particle associated compounds. C were assessed against concurrent active air sampler (AAS) measurements. Use of "site-based/sampler-specific" variables: R, calculated using a site calibration, provided similar results for most gas-phase SVOCs to air concentrations derived using "default" values (commonly accepted R). Individual monthly PUF-PAS-derived air concentrations for the majority of the target compounds were significantly different (Wilcoxon signed-rank (WSR) test; p < 0.05) to AAS regardless of the input values (site/sampler based or default) used to calculate them. However, annual average PUF-PAS-derived air concentrations were within the same order of magnitude as AAS measurements except for the particle-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Underestimation of PUF-derived air concentrations for particle-phase PAHs was attributed to a potential overestimation of the particle infiltration into the PUF-PAS chamber and underestimation of the particle bound fraction of PAHs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2016.11.030DOI Listing
January 2017

Screening for halogenated flame retardants in European consumer products, building materials and wastes.

Chemosphere 2017 Feb 14;168:457-466. Epub 2016 Nov 14.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, 625 00, Brno, Czechia.

To fulfill national and international fire safety standards, flame retardants (FRs) are being added to a wide range of consumer products and building materials consisting of flammable materials like plastic, wood and textiles. While the FR composition of some products and materials has been identified in recent years, the limited global coverage of the data and the large diversity in consumer products necessitates more information for an overall picture of the FR composition in common products/materials. To address this issue, 137 individual samples of various consumer products, building materials and wastes were collected. To identify and characterize potential sources of FRs in indoor environment, all samples were analyzed for content of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs) and novel flame retardants (NFRs). The most frequently detected were HBCDDs (85%), with the highest median concentration of ΣHBCDDs of 300 mg kg in polystyrenes. The highest median concentration of ΣPBDEs was found in recycled plastic materials, reaching 4 mg kg. The lowest concentrations were observed for NFRs, where the median of ΣNFRs reached 0.4 mg kg in the group of electrical & electronic equipment wastes. This suggests that for consumer products and building materials that are currently in-use, legacy compounds still contribute to the overall burden of FRs. Additionally, contrasting patterns of FR composition in recycled and virgin plastics, revealed using principle component analysis (PCA), suggest that legacy flame retardants are reentering the market through recycled products, perpetuating the potential for emissions to indoor environments and thus for human exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.11.032DOI Listing
February 2017

Screening for perfluoroalkyl acids in consumer products, building materials and wastes.

Chemosphere 2016 Dec 2;164:322-329. Epub 2016 Sep 2.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a large group of important chemical compounds with unique and useful physico-chemical properties, widely produced and used in many applications. However, due to the toxicity, bioaccumulation and long-range transport potential of certain PFASs, they are of significant concern to scientists and policy makers. To assess human exposure to PFASs, it is necessary to understand the concentrations of these emerging contaminants in our environment, and particularly environments where urban population spend most of their time, i.e. buildings and vehicles. A total of 126 samples of building materials, consumer products, car interior materials and wastes were therefore analyzed for their content of key PFASs - 15 perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs). At least one of the target PFAAs was detected in 88% of all samples. The highest concentration of ΣPFAAs was found in textile materials (77.61 μg kg), as expected, since specific PFAAs are known to be used for textile treatment during processing. Surprisingly, PFAAs were also detected in all analyzed composite wood building materials, which were dominated by perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids with 5-8 carbons in the chain (ΣPFCAs up to 32.9 μg kg). These materials are currently widely used for building refurbishment, and this is the first study to find evidence of the presence of specific PFASs in composite wood materials. Thus, in addition to consumer products treated with PFASs, materials used in the construction of houses, schools and office buildings may also play an important role in human exposure to PFASs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.08.112DOI Listing
December 2016

Seasonality and indoor/outdoor relationships of flame retardants and PCBs in residential air.

Environ Pollut 2016 Nov 16;218:392-401. Epub 2016 Jul 16.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Kamenice 753/5, 62500, Brno, Czech Republic.

This study is a systematic assessment of different houses and apartments, their ages and renovation status, indoors and outdoors, and in summer vs. winter, with a goal of bringing some insight into the major sources of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and their variability. Indoor and outdoor air concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and novel flame retardants (NFRs) were determined at 17-20 homes in Czech Republic in winter and summer. Indoor concentrations were consistently higher than outdoor concentrations for all compounds; indoor/outdoor ratios ranged from 2-20, with larger differences for the current use NFRs than for legacy PCBs. Seasonal trends differed according to the use status of the compounds: the PCBs had higher summer concentrations both indoors and outdoors, suggesting volatilization as a source of PCBs to air. PBDEs had no seasonal trends indoors, but higher summer concentrations outdoors. Several NFRs (TBX, PBT, PBEB) had higher indoor concentrations in winter relative to summer. The seasonal trends in the flame retardants suggest differences in air exchange rates due to lower building ventilation in winter could be driving the concentration differences. Weak relationships were found with building age for PCBs, with higher concentrations indoors in buildings built before 1984, and with the number of electronics for PBDEs, with higher concentrations in rooms with three or more electronic items. Indoor environments are the primary contributor to human inhalation exposure to these SVOCs, due to the high percentage of time spent indoors (>90%) combined with the higher indoors levels for all the studied compounds. Exposure via the indoor environment contributed ∼96% of the total chronic daily intake via inhalation in summer and ∼98% in winter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2016.07.018DOI Listing
November 2016

Perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) in household dust in Central Europe and North America.

Environ Int 2016 Sep 10;94:315-324. Epub 2016 Jun 10.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/3, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Concentrations of 20 perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) were measured in dust samples from 41 homes in Canada, the Czech Republic, and United States in the spring-summer of 2013. The most frequently detected compounds were perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) had the highest concentrations of PFASs in all countries. PFOS median concentrations for the three countries were between 9.1 and 14.1ng/g, and PFOA medians ranged between 8.2 and 9.3ng/g. In general, concentrations in North America were higher than in the Czech Republic, which is consistent with usage patterns. No differences were found for perfluorooctane sulfonamides/sulfonamidoethanols (FOSA/Es) levels due to the low number of detections. Homologue profiles suggest that the shift from longer to shorter chain PFASs is more advanced in North America than in Europe. Significant relationships were found among individual homologues and between PFAS concentrations in dust and type of floor, number of people living in the house, and building age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2016.05.031DOI Listing
September 2016

Brominated flame retardants in the indoor environment - Comparative study of indoor contamination from three countries.

Environ Int 2016 Sep 29;94:150-160. Epub 2016 May 29.

School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, 702 Walnut Grove Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States.

Concentrations of more than 20 brominated flame retardants (FRs), including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and emerging FRs, were measured in air, dust and window wipes from 63 homes in Canada, the Czech Republic and the United States in the spring and summer of 2013. Among the PBDEs, the highest concentrations were generally BDE-209 in all three matrices, followed by Penta-BDEs. Among alternative FRs, EHTBB and BEHTBP were detected at the highest concentrations. DBDPE was also a major alternative FR detected in dust and air. Bromobenzenes were detected at lower levels than PBDEs and other alternative FRs; among the bromobenzenes, HBB and PBEB were the most abundant compounds. In general, FR levels were highest in the US and lowest in the Czech Republic - a geographic trend that reflects the flame retardants' market. No statistically significant differences were detected between bedroom and living room FR concentrations in the same house (n=10), suggesting that sources of FRs are widespread indoors and mixing between rooms. The concentrations of FRs in air, dust, and window film were significantly correlated, especially for PBDEs. We found a significant relationship between the concentrations in dust and window film and in the gas phase for FRs with log KOA values <14, suggesting that equilibrium was reached for these but not compounds with log KOA values >14. This hypothesis was confirmed by a large discrepancy between values predicted using a partitioning model and the measured values for FRs with log KOA values >14.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2016.04.029DOI Listing
September 2016

Distribution of legacy and emerging semivolatile organic compounds in five indoor matrices in a residential environment.

Chemosphere 2016 Jun 24;153:179-86. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 753/5, Pavilion A29, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Seven types of indoor samples, covering five indoor matrices, were collected in a residential room, and analyzed for five classes of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs). The goal was to improve the understanding of the relationship between indoor air, surface films and dust, based on differences in sources, physicochemical properties, and indoor environmental characteristics. Comparisons of the five matrices (gas- and particle-phase air, floor dust, surface dust/films and window films) demonstrated that within our test room a semi-quantitative measurement of the SVOC distributions and concentrations could be obtained by air, and composite dust or furniture surface wipes. Dust concentrations varied within the room, and spot samples were not necessarily representative of the average room conditions. Polyurethane foam passive air samplers (PUF-PAS) successfully quantified the total air concentrations of the studied SVOC compound groups, as indoor air concentrations were dominated by gas-phase compounds, however air concentrations of individual particle-bound compounds had higher uncertainty. Measured concentrations of dust/surfaces could be used to estimate air concentrations of legacy SVOCs, demonstrating equilibrium in the room. However, air concentrations of current-use compounds (flame retardants, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)) could not be estimated from dust/surface concentrations, demonstrating the influence of ongoing primary emissions and non-equilibrium status in the room.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.03.012DOI Listing
June 2016
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