Environmental science and pollution research international

Organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) in indoor and outdoor air in the Rhine/Main area, Germany: comparison of concentrations and distribution profiles in different microenvironments.

PMID 27230144


The concentrations of 9 organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) were determined in 56 indoor and 9 outdoor air samples in the Rhine/Main area in Germany. The indoor samples were collected from seven different indoor microenvironments including private cars, private homes, floor/carpet stores, building material markets, schools, offices, and day care centers, while outdoor samples were simultaneously collected close to the indoor sampling locations. The total OPFR concentrations (∑OPFRs) in indoor air ranged from 3.30 to 751.0 ng/m(3) with a median of 40.23 ng/m(3), which was approximately eight times higher than those in outdoor air (median 5.38 ng/m(3)), indicating that sources of OPFRs predominate in the indoor environment. Tris(2-chloroisopropyl)phosphate (TCPP), tris(isobutyl)phosphate (TiBP), and tributyl phosphate (TnBP) were the dominating compounds both in indoor and outdoor air. The median concentration of ∑OPFRs in private cars (180.3 ng/m(3)) was significantly higher than that in private homes (12.51 ng/m(3)), schools (36.23 ng/m(3)), day care centers (31.80 ng/m(3)), and building material markets (31.17 ng/m(3)) (p < 0.05). Distribution profiles of OPFRs varied among different indoor microenvironments, which are evidenced by dominating indoor air concentrations of non-Cl-OPFRs in day care centers, floor/carpet stores, schools, and of Cl-OPFRs in other indoor microenvironments. Multivariate analyses revealed three distinct groups for OPFRs, i.e., TiBP/TnBP, TEP/TCEP/TDCPP, and TCPP, whose concentrations were closely associated with the distribution profiles and pollution characteristics of materials predominating in different indoor microenvironments.

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