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Lifetime cancer risk assessment for inhalation exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)

Abstract

The plasticizer di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) is ubiquitous in the environment and considered as carcinogen; however, the carcinogenic risk of human exposure to DEHP in the air via inhalation is lacking. A probabilistic incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) model was implemented to quantitatively estimate the potential cancer risk of DEHP via human inhalation by using Monte Carlo simulation. We assessed the cancer risk in different age groups (children, adolescents, and adults) exposed to different DEHP concentrations (background low, indoor moderate, and occupational high) for different durations (2, 8, and 20 years). Results showed that the cancer risk of exposure to DEHP was below the acceptable limit (10−6) in the ambient air but was serious in indoor and occupational environments even at short exposure duration (2 years). The cancer risk of DEHP via inhalation in children was lower than that in adolescents and adults, but the risk in children via dermal and oral exposure to indoor dust and soft PVC toys should be considered. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the exposure concentration of DEHP was the strongest factor that influenced ILCR. Our work provides the evidence of cancer risk of DEHP via inhalation and highlights the risk in indoor and occupational environments.

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Acknowledgments

The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51576214).

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Correspondence to Qihong Deng.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues.

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Miao, Y., Wang, R., Lu, C. et al. Lifetime cancer risk assessment for inhalation exposure to di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 312–320 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7797-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-7797-4

Keywords

  • Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
  • Carcinogen
  • Dose
  • Lifetime cancer risk
  • Inhalation