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Flame Retardant Exposures in California Early Childhood Education Environments
Bradham, A., R. Castorina, F. Gaspar, M. Nishioka, M. Colon, W. Weathers, P. Egeghy, R. Maddalena, J. Williams, P. Jenkins, AND T. McKone. Flame Retardant Exposures in California Early Childhood Education Environments. CHEMOSPHERE. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 116:61-66, (2014).
The National Exposure Research Laboratory′s (NERL) 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.
Infants and young children spend as much as 50 hours per week in child care and preschool centers. Although approximately 13 million children, or 65% of all U.S. children, spend a portion of each day in early childhood education (ECE) facilities, little information is available about environmental exposures in these environments. We measured flame retardant levels in air and dust in 40 California ECE facilities, including six polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners and four non-BDE flame retardants in air, including two constituents of Firemaster 550 (a proprietary phosphorus-bromine blend formulation) and two tris-phosphate compounds [tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) and tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP)]. We measured 14 PBDE flame retardants and the four non-BDE flame retardants in dust, and compared child dose estimates to available U.S. EPA oral references doses (RfDs). Tris phosphate, Firemaster 550 and PBDE compounds were detected in 100% of the dust samples. The PBDE congeners BDE-47, BDE-99, and BDE-209 comprised the majority of the PBDE mass measured in the dust samples. In ~40% of dust samples collected, BDE-209 was the dominant congener measured. The median concentrations of TCEP (319 ng/g) and TDCPP (2,265 ng/g) were similar to or higher than any PBDE congener. Levels of TCEP and TDCPP in dust were significantly higher in facilities with napping equipment (e.g., mats) made out of foam (Mann-Whitney p-values<0.05). Child BDE-99 dose estimates, calculated using U.S. EPA non-dietary ingestion assumptions, exceeded the RfD in 2.6% of facilities for children <3 years old. In 51.3% of facilities, TDCPP dose estimates for children <6 years old exceeded age-specific “No Significant Risk Levels (NSRLs)” computed by the authors based on California Proposition 65 guidelines for carcinogens. Given the overriding interest in providing safe and healthy environments for young children, additional research is needed to identify strategies to reduce indoor sources of flame retardant chemicals.
URLs/Downloads:EGEGHY FINAL ACCEPTED VERSION.PDF (PDF,NA pp, 148.217 KB, about PDF)
SUPPLEMENTAL BRADMAN_SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL.PDF (PDF,NA pp, 256.742 KB, about PDF)
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
HUMAN EXPOSURE AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES DIVISION
EXPOSURE MEASUREMENTS & ANALYSIS BRANCH