Worldwide, people are spending more time indoors, in well-insulated buildings, and are more heavily engaged with multiple electronic devices. Various types of emerging chemicals such as dirt and water repellents, flame retardants (FRs), and plasticizers can be emitted from construction materials, electronic equipment, carpets, textiles, flooring and furniture through evaporation (off gassing) or abrasion (small particles breaking off from foam, textile fibers, etc.). Several substances that are restricted or banned (e.g. DEHP, PBDEs) were substituted with alternatives with less information on the hazards, indoor levels and human exposure. Chemical concentrations in indoor dust and air can correlate with body burden, but until now it is unknown if  inadvertent dust ingestion (especially for young children who have regular hand-mouth contact), inhalation or dermal uptake is the main route of exposure. Substantial efforts have been expended on the development of sophisticated, high tier modelling of integrated exposure (including via indoor air); however these models have not yet been thoroughly tested for a wide range of chemicals, including these new chemicals. As many of them will be more polar or possess other properties than previously investigated (‘classical’) compounds, the existing models also need to
be checked for their applicability to these new chemicals.

The following objectives have been set for this project:
1. To provide an overview of existing information on chemicals found indoors by carrying out a literature search. This review will be mainly based on the ECHA chemicals database, results of ongoing and previous LRI projects, and peer reviewed literature.
2. To carry out sampling and targeted analysis of emerging contaminants in dust and air of schools/daycare centers, homes and offices in various European countries.
3. To conduct non-target screening of the same samples collected under objective 2 to identify additional contaminants and combinations of chemicals.
4. To verify if existing exposure models can be used for the new chemicals found, and propose modifications to the models if needed.

5. To compare the measured and modelled data with biomonitoring data from the literature and other projects in which partners are participating.

Stockholm University will sample 10 offices in Stockholm for air and dust and analyse these for NBFRs, HBCD, PFRs and PFAS. We will also include the analysis of more analytes in dust and handwipe samples provided in the Örebro project. Together with other partners, we will help compile data for the review, provide samples for non-target analysis and help with comparing measured and modelled data.

Contact information

Visiting addresses:

Geovetenskapens Hus,
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm

Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm (Unit for Toxicological Chemistry)

Mailing address:
Department of Environmental Science
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm

Press enquiries should be directed to:

Stella Papadopoulou
Science Communicator
Phone +46 (0)8 674 70 11