Contact with indoor dust has been shown to be an important source of contaminant exposure in humans. The composition of dust and its associated contaminants varies by a number of factors including location, nearby objects, and activities. Indoor locations that contain furniture, appliances, and other electronic goods produce dust enriched with chemical additives used in the manufacturing process. Classes of chemicals commonly found in dust include plasticizers, perfluorocarbons, flame retardants, lubricants, and metals used in electronics, batteries, power supplies, and imaging devices. Other types of hazardous chemicals associated with dust are contaminants that are formed after burning or combustion. These include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chlorinated and brominated PAHs, halogenated dioxins, and dibenzofurans. These contaminants are established components of dust and are frequently the focus of environmental monitoring efforts. However, nontargeted chemical analysis of some workplace dust suggests the presence of other organic and inorganic compounds, which remain to be characterized. In addition, many of these contaminants are environmentally persistent and bioaccumulate in seafood and other types of food, complicating exposure assessments and the importance of dust as an exposure source. However, recent research has begun to identify differences in the contaminant profiles between dust and food that can allow better source appointment for some classes such as PBDEs.
KeywordsOccupational inorganic exposures Household exposures Dust Organic exposures
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