Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are widely used in household products as flame retardants or plasticizers and have become ubiquitous pollutants in environmental media. However, little is known about OPE metabolites in humans, especially in children. In this study, eight OPE metabolites were measured in 411 urine samples collected from 6 to 14-year-old children in South China. Bis(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (BCEP), bis(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BCIPP) and diphenyl phosphate (DPHP) were the dominant OPE metabolites, and their median concentrations were 1.04, 0.15 and 0.28 μg/L, respectively. The levels of urinary OPE metabolites in the present study were much lower than those in participants from other countries, with the exception of BCEP, suggesting widespread exposure to tris(2-chlorethyl) phosphate (TCEP, the parent chemical of BCEP) in South China. No significant difference in the concentrations of any of the OPE metabolites was observed between males and females (p > .05). Significant negative correlations were observed between age and BCEP, BCIPP, bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCIPP), di-o-cresyl phosphate (DoCP) and di-p-cresyl phosphate (DpCP) (DCP), or DPHP (p < .05). Pearson correlation coefficients between urinary OPE metabolites indicated multiple sources and OPE exposure pathways in children. The estimated daily intake suggested that children in South China have a relatively high exposure level to TCEP. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report the urinary levels of OPE metabolites in Chinese children.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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