Emerging Plasticizers in South China House Dust and Hand Wipes: Calling for Potential Concern?


Following regulations on legacy plasticizers, a large variety of industrial chemicals have been employed as substitutes to manufacture consumer products. However, knowledge remains limited on their environmental distributions, fate, and human exposure risks. In the present work, we screened for a total of 34 emerging plasticizers in house dust from South China and matched hand wipes collected from volunteers (n = 49 pairs). The results revealed a frequent detection of 27 emerging plasticizers in house dust, with the total concentrations reaching a median level of 106 700 ng/g. Thirteen of them had never been investigated by any environmental studies prior to our work, which included glycerol monooleate (median: 61 600 ng/g), methyl oleate (16 400 ng/g), butyl oleate (411 ng/g), 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol monoisobutyrate (341 ng/g), 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate (105 ng/g), isopropyl myristate (154 ng/g), di(2-ethylhexyl) sebacate (69.1 ng/g), triisononyl trimellitate (64.4 ng/g), as well as a few others. Emerging plasticizers were also frequently detected in hand wipes, with a median total level of 4680 ng, indicating potential exposure via hand-to-mouth contact. Several chemicals, including acetyl tributyl citrate, tributyl citrate, di-n-butyl maleate, isopropyl myristate, and isopropyl palmitate, exhibited significant correlations between dust and hand wipe. However, other plasticizers did not follow this pattern, and the chemical compositional profiles differed between dust and hand wipe, suggesting chemical-specific sources and exposure pathways. Although the estimation of daily intake (EDI) indicated no substantial risks through dust ingestion or hand-to-mouth transfer of emerging plasticizers, continuous monitoring is needed to explore whether some of the important plasticizers are safe replacements or regrettable substitutions of the legacy ones.

Authors: Lin Tao, Hongli Tan, Xinhang Qiao, Liangzhong Li, Yunjiang Yu, Jinxin Xie, Da Chen
; Full Source: Environmental science & technology 2022 Aug 17. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c02106.