Phthalates, non-phthalate plasticizers and bisphenols in Swedish preschool dust in relation to children's exposure

Children are exposed to a wide range of chemicals in their everyday environments, including the preschool. In this study, we evaluated the levels of phthalates, non-phthalate plasticizers and bisphenols in dust from 100 Swedish preschools and identified important exposure factors in the indoor environment. In addition, children's total exposure to these chemicals was determined by urine analysis to investigate their relation with dust exposure, and to explore the time trends by comparing with children who provided urine fifteen years earlier.

The most abundant plasticizers in preschool dust were the phthalates di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) with geometric mean levels of 450 and 266 μg/g dust, respectively, and the nonphthalate plasticizers bis(2-ethylhexyl) terephthalate (DEHT) and diisononylcyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DiNCH) found at 105 and 73 μg/g dust, respectively. The levels of several substitute plasticizers were higher in newer preschools, whereas the levels of the strictly regulated phthalate di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) were higher in older preschools. The presence of foammattresses and PVC flooring in the sampling roomwere associated with higher levels of DiNP in dust.

Children's exposure frompreschool dust ingestionwas belowestablished health based reference values and the estimated exposure to different phthalates and BPA via preschool dust ingestion accounted for 2–27% of the total exposure.Wefound significantly lower urinary levels of BPA and metabolites of strictly regulated phthalates, but higher levels of DiNP metabolites, in urine from the children in this study compared to the children who provided urine samples fifteen years earlier.

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