Phthalate esters, suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals, are used in a wide range of applications. Because phthalate esters are not covalently bound, they can easily leach into the indoor environment and associate to dust particles. Thus, exposure may occur through inhalation, ingestion, or contact with the skin. However, it is unclear to what degree indoor dust contributes to the daily intake of phthalate esters.
The highlights of this study were:
- Five phthalate esters and one monoester (MEHP) could be quantified in all dust samples.
- The EDI of DEHP and MEHP via ingestion of dust for a 21-month old is 727 and 277 ng/kg bw respectively.
- Our modelling data suggest that inhalation is a minor pathway of exposure compared to ingestion.
- The EDI of phthalate esters for adults are 2–12 times lower than for 21-months old.
- Dust is a direct exposure pathway for the transformation product MEHP and should be considered in health risk assessments.