Methyl siloxanes in soils from a large silicone-manufacturing site, China: concentrations, distributions and potential human exposure


Methyl siloxanes are widely found in the environment, but little is known about the distributions of these chemicals in soils especially in areas where they are manufactured. We determined the concentrations of four cyclic (D3-D6) and 13 linear methyl siloxanes (L4-L16) in the soils from a siloxane-manufacturing site in China; the total concentrations of these 17 siloxanes (TSi) in the soils were 17.1-3,191 (median, 134) ng/g. We did not find extremely high concentrations of siloxanes in the soils. The median concentrations of total cyclic siloxanes (TCSi) were approximately sevenfold higher than those of total linear congeners. Hexamethylcyclotrisiloxane and octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane contributed a median of 59.7% and 20.3% of the TSi concentrations, respectively. Higher concentrations of soil TCSi were found in the silicone-manufacturing area relative to the other study areas. Source analysis indicated that industrial activities contributed substantially to soil siloxanes, in addition to the contribution of the siloxane emissions from specific consumer products. We calculated that the median values of daily TSi intakes through soil ingestion were 0.021 and 0.138 ng/kg-body weight/day for adults and children, respectively, under high exposure scenarios. Although our estimated daily intakes of the chemicals from soils were low, more research is required to improve our understanding of the health risks posed to humans exposed to siloxanes through other pathways.

Authors: Jiali Cheng, Zhenwu Tang, Yan Ma, Hongmin Yin, Tong Meng, Jiazheng Sun
; Full Source: Environmental geochemistry and health 2021 Mar 12. doi: 10.1007/s10653-021-00873-7.