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Chamber studies on mass-transfer of di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) and di-n-butylphthalate (DnBP) from emission sources into house dust

: Schripp, T.; Fauck, C.; Salthammer, T.


Atmospheric environment 44 (2010), No.24, pp.2840-2845
ISSN: 0004-6981
ISSN: 1352-2310
Journal Article
Fraunhofer WKI ()
house dust; mass transfer

For a number of phthalates and especially for di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), surprisingly high house dust concentrations are reported in the literature. Therefore, the uptake of the most prominent compounds DEHP and di-n-butylphthalate (DnBP) from plasticized indoor materials into house dust samples of different organic content has been experimentally determined. The experiments have been performed within 45 days which is sufficient for the more volatile phthalate (DnBP) to reach equilibrium conditions. DnBP reaches considerably higher concentrations in the chamber air compared to real room measurements and, thus, also elevated dust concentrations. In contrast, the mass transfer of DEHP in the dust via the gas phase was significantly lower. However, small chamber experiments showed elevated mass transfer of DEHP in case of direct contact between emission source and sink. This aspect is experimentally determined using an plasticized PVC polymer with and without direct contact to house dust. A transfer into the dust could be observed in dependence of the initial concentration in the material. However, the results do not allow the differentiation between the two uptake mechanisms via capillary forces and contact to the material's boundary layer. The results illustrate that the reasons for elevated DEHP concentrations in dust indoors can be traced back to direct contact of source and sink, abrasion from the source, and transport via airborne particles.