, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 812-822
Date: 07 Oct 2012

Organophosphorus flame retardants in house dust from the Philippines: occurrence and assessment of human exposure

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Abstract

The use of organophosphorus flame retardants (PFRs) as flame retardants and plasticizers has increased due to the ban on common polybrominated diphenyl ether mixtures. However, only limited information on PFR contamination is available so far from Southeast Asia. In the present study, residual levels of PFRs in house dust and exposure through dust ingestion were investigated in the Philippines. House dust samples (n = 37) were collected from Malate (residential area) and Payatas (municipal dumping area) in the Philippines and analyzed using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Among the targeted seven PFRs, triphenyl phosphate (TPP) was the predominant compound. Median levels of ΣPFRs in Malate (530 ng/g) were two times higher (p < 0.05) than in Payatas (240 ng/g). The estimated daily intake of PFRs in the Philippines (of areas studied) via house dust ingestion was below the guideline values. House dust may be an important contributor in the overall exposure of humans to TPP even when considering dietary sources. To our knowledge, this is a first report on PFR contamination in house dust from developing country. PFRs were ubiquitously detected in the home environments in the Philippines. Although estimated exposure levels through dust ingestion were below the guideline, it was suggested that toddlers are at higher risk. Therefore, further investigations to understand the behavior of PFRs in house and other microenvironments and overall exposure pathways for the country’s populace to PFRs are necessary.

Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues