The influence of temperature on the fate and transport of phthlates in indoor environments
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Phthalate esters are extensively used as plasticizers in building materials and consumer products, but are associated with serious health concerns. They are ubiquitous indoors, redistributing from their original source to all interior surfaces, including airborne particles, dust, and skin. The main objective of the research is to investigate the influence of temperature on the fate and transport of phthalates in indoor environments. In this study, the concentrations of benzyl butyl phthalate (BBzP) and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in indoor air, settled dust, and on different interior surfaces including mirror, glass, plate, cloth and wood were measured periodically in a test house. The measurements were conducted at temperatures of 21°C and 30°C, respectively. In addition, sorption kinetics was also monitored at the temperature of 21°C. The air concentrations of BBzP and DEHP at 21°C range from 141 ng/m₃ to 210 ng/m₃ and 66 ng/ m₃ to 100 ng/ m₃, respectively. For impervious surfaces such as dish plates, the surface concentrations reached steady-state concentrations in less than 24 hours, to the level between 2 and 8 [mu]g/m₂ for both BBzP and DEHP. In contrast, the time to reach steady state was much longer for porous surfaces such as hardwood (>1 week) and dust (> months). With the temperature increase to 30°C, the gas phase concentrations of BBzP and DEHP increased by about five times, and the surface concentrations on various surfaces also increased correspondingly. This investigation suggests that temperature has an important influence on the fate and transport of phthalates in indoor environments.