Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds in Car Dust: A Pilot Study in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


People may spend a significant amount of their daily time in cars and thus be exposed to chemicals present in car dust. Various chemicals are emitted from during car use, contaminating the car dust. In this study, we compiled published and unpublished data on the occurrence of phthalates, flame retardants (FRs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Saudi car dust. Phthalates, a class of chemical commonly used as plasticizers in different car parts, were the major pollutants found in car dust, with a median value of ∑phthalates 1,279,000 ng/g. Among other chemicals, organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) were found to be between 1500-90,500 ng/g, which indicates their use as alternative FRs in the car industry. The daily exposure to Saudi drivers (regular and taxi drivers) was below the respective reference dose (RfD) values of the individual chemicals. However, the estimated incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) values due to chronic exposure to these chemicals was >1 × 10-5 for taxi drivers for phthalates and PAHs, indicating that the long-term exposure to these chemicals is a cause of concern for drivers who spend considerable time in cars. The study has some limitations, due to the small number of samples, lack of updated RfD values, and missing cancer slope factors for many studied chemicals. Despite these limitations, this study indicates the possible range of exposure to drivers from chemicals in car dust and warrants further extensive studies to confirm these patterns.

Authors: Nadeem Ali, Mohammad W Kadi, Hussain Mohammed Salem Ali Albar, Muhammad Imtiaz Rashid, Sivaraman Chandrasekaran, Ahmed Saleh Summan, Cynthia A de Wit, Govindan Malarvannan
; Full Source: International journal of environmental research and public health 2021 Apr 30;18(9):4803. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18094803.