Emerging contaminants in car interiors: Evaluating the impact of airborne PBDEs and PBDD/Fs

TitleEmerging contaminants in car interiors: Evaluating the impact of airborne PBDEs and PBDD/Fs
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsMandalakis, M, Stephanou EG, Horii Y, Kannan K
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Pages6431 - 6436

Air samples from automobile cabins were collected and analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polybrominated dibenzofurans (PBDFs), and polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PBDDs). The concentration of total PBDEs (ΣPBDE; sum of 19 congeners) varied from 0.4 to 2644 pg m -3, with a median of 201 pg m -3, while BDE 47, 99, and 209 collectively accounted for 70 ± 30% of ΣPBDE concentrations. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that ΣPBDE concentration was significantly influenced by vehicle's age and interior temperature. More specifically, ΣPBDE decreased over time and increased with the rise of temperature. The daily inhalation intake of PBDEs during commuting was estimated to range from 0.5 to 2909 pg day -1 (median 221 pg day -1) and contributed 29% of the overall daily exposure to PBDEs via inhalation. When excluding BDE 209, a lower contribution was calculated for this source (18%), but this was still comparable with residential exposure (22%). The levels of PBDD/Fs were generally below the limits of detection and only in one case were hepta-BDFs positively detected at a concentration of 61 pg m -3. This study demonstrates that car interiors, especially when new, contain high levels of airborne PBDEs and represent a potential route of human exposure via inhalation. © 2008 American Chemical Society.


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