Brominated Flame Retardants and Organophosphate Esters in Preschool Dust and Children's Hand Wipes

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Children spend a considerable part of their day in preschool, where they may be exposed to hazardous chemicals in indoor dust. In this study, brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and organophosphate esters (OPEs) were analyzed in preschool dust (n = 100) and children's hand wipe samples (n = 100), and diphenyl phosphate (DPHP) was analyzed in urine (n = 113). Here we assessed children's exposure via dust, identified predictors for chemicals in dust, and studied correlations between different exposure measures. The most abundant BFRs in dust were decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) found at median levels of 270 and 110 ng/g dust, respectively. Tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) was the most abundant OPE, found at a median level of 79 000 ng/g dust. For all OPEs and some BFRs, there were significant correlations between the levels in dust and hand wipes. In addition, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) in preschool dust was significantly correlated with the corresponding metabolite DPHP in children's urine. The levels of pentaBDEs in dust were higher in older preschools compared with newer, whereas levels of DBDPE were higher in newer preschools. Children's estimated intakes of individual BFRs and OPEs via preschool dust were below available health-based reference values. However, there are uncertainties about the potential health effects of some emerging BFRs and OPEs.


  • Kristin Larsson
  • Cynthia A. De Wit
  • Ulla Sellström
  • Leena Sahlström
  • Christian H. Lindh
  • Marika Berglund
External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Stockholm University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4878-4888
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 17
Publication categoryResearch