Sci Total Environ 2019 Jul 9;674:1-8. Epub 2019 Apr 9.
Division of Infection Control and Environmental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 222, Skøyen, N-0213 Oslo, Norway.
Both building materials and consumer products have been identified as possible sources for potentially hazardous substances like phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organophosphorous flame retardants (OPFRs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) in indoor air. Thus, indoor air has been suggested to contribute significantly to human exposure to these chemicals. There is lack of data on the occurrence of several of the aforementioned chemicals in indoor air. Therefore, indoor air (gas and particulate phase) was collected from 48 households and 6 classrooms in two counties in Norway. In both the households and schools, median levels of low molecular weight phthalates (785 ng/m), OPFRs (55 ng/m) and SCCPs (128 ng/m) were up to 1000 times higher than the levels of PCBs (829 pg/m) and PBDEs (167 pg/m). Median concentrations of dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) and SCCPs were 3-6 times higher in households compared to schools. The levels of OPFRs, PCBs and PBDEs were similar in households and schools. In univariate analysis, the indoor concentrations of different environmental chemicals were significantly affected by location of households (OPFRs), airing of living room (some PCBs and PBDEs), presence of upholstered chair/couch (OPFRs), pet animal hold (some PBDEs) and presence of electrical heaters (selected PCBs and PBDEs). Significant correlations were also detected for the total size of households with OPFRs, frequency of vacuuming the living room with selected PCBs and PBDEs, frequency of washing the living room with selected PCBs and the total number of TVs in the households with selected phthalates and SCCPs. Finally, intake estimates indicated that indoor air contributed more or equally to low molecular weight phthalates and SCCPs exposure compared to food consumption, whereas the contribution from indoor air was smaller than the dietary intake for the other groups of chemicals.