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Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) concentrations and resulting exposure in homes in California: relationships among passive air, surface wipe and dust concentrations, and temporal variability
Bennett, D., R. Moran, X. Wu, N. Tulve, M. Clifton, M. Colon, W. Weathers, A. Sjodin, R. Jones, AND I. Hertz-Picciotto. Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) concentrations and resulting exposure in homes in California: relationships among passive air, surface wipe and dust concentrations, and temporal variability. INDOOR AIR. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, 25(2):220-229, (2015).
The National Exposure Research Laboratory's (NERL's) Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (HEASD) conducts research in support of EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment. HEASD's research program supports Goal 1 (Clean Air) and Goal 4 (Healthy People) of EPA's strategic plan. More specifically, our division conducts research to characterize the movement of pollutants from the source to contact with humans. Our multidisciplinary research program produces Methods, Measurements, and Models to identify relationships between and characterize processes that link source emissions, environmental concentrations, human exposures, and target-tissue dose. The impact of these tools is improved regulatory programs and policies for EPA.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used as flame retardants in furniture foam, electronics, and other home furnishings. A field study was conducted that enrolled 139 households from California, which has had more stringent flame retardant requirements than other countries and areas. The study collected passive air, floor and indoor window surface wipes, and dust samples (investigator collected using an HVS3 and vacuum cleaner) in each home. PentaBDE and BDE209 were detected in the majority of the dust samples and many floor wipe samples, but the detection in air and window wipe samples was relatively low. Concentrations of each PBDE congener in different indoor environmental media were moderately correlated, with correlation coefficients ranging between 0.42 and 0.68. Correlation coefficients with blood levels were up to 0.65 and varied between environmental media and age group. Both investigator-collected dust and floor wipes were correlated with serum levels for a wide range of congeners. These two sample types also had a relatively high fraction of samples with adequate mass for reliable quantification. In 42 homes, PBDE levels measured in the same environmental media in the same home 1 year apart were statistically correlated (correlation coefficients: 0.57-0.90), with the exception of BDE209 which was not well correlated longitudinally.