Environ Sci Technol 2014 Jun 23;48(12):6827-35. Epub 2014 May 23.
Department of Exposure and Risk Assessment, Norwegian Institute of Public Health , P.O. Box 4404, Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway.
This study investigates the occurrence of 37 organohalogen and organophosphate flame retardants (FRs) from Norwegian households (n = 48) and classrooms from two primary schools (n = 6). Around 80% of the targeted FRs were detected in air and dust from the sampling sites. The comparison of settled dust with floor dust revealed no statistical differences between median concentrations of the FRs (n = 12). Decabromodiphenyl ether and tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate showed the highest median floor dust concentrations in both environments. In the air samples, the highest concentrations were observed for 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether and tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate. Remarkably, the emerging FR, 4-(1,2-dibromoethyl)-1,2-dibromocyclohexane, abbreviated as TBECH or DBE-DBCH, showed the highest indoor air concentrations reported in the literature (households, 77.9 pg/m(3) and schools, 46.6 pg/m(3)). Good Spearman correlations between the FR concentrations in dust and air (0.36 < R < 0.76) showed that is possible to estimate the concentrations in air from analyzed dust, or vice versa. Sources and pathways of exposure to FRs were assessed for the households. The main findings were that frequent vacuum cleaning resulted in lower FR concentrations in dust and that dermal contact with dust, for both children and mothers, was as important for the intake of organophosphate FRs as dust ingestion.