Indoor residential fate model of phthalate plasticizers

Liang, Yirui
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A three-compartment model is extended to estimate the fate and transport of DEHP in a realistic residential environment. The model considered eight environmental media (i.e. air, particulate matter with six size fractions, vinyl flooring, carpet, furniture, dust, wall and ceiling). Particle movement (deposition and resuspension), dust removal (vacuuming), indoor cooking, and adsorption/absorption on indoor surfaces are included. The predicted airborne DEHP concentrations at steady state are within 0.1 [microgram]/m³ to 0.6 [microgram]/m³, which are similar to those measured in field studies. After vinyl flooring (the primary source) is removed, it takes 2 years for the indoor airborne DEHP level to reduce 0.01 [microgram]/m³, and the time increases significantly when carpet present. The results indicate that carpets as well as other interior surfaces may be important phthalate sinks and if the only removal mechanism is ventilation, strongly sorbing phthalate may persist for years. Phthalate amount in dust is strongly influenced by the deposition surface. The concentration of DEHP presents 10 times higher in dust on the source (vinyl flooring) than on the sink (furniture), and it takes more than a year for DEHP to reach equilibrium between bulk air and dust. The domestic activity of cooking is then included in the model and it shows that suspended particle concentration has a substantial impact on gas-phase DEHP level indoors, while the influence of ventilation is only to some extent. Three other SVOCs (DMP, BBP and DiDP) are also investigated and their environmental fates show that chemical’s vapour pressure and octanol/air partition coefficient have substantial influences on sorbing mechanisms and the gas phase and airborne concentrations.