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Fate and Transport of Phthalates in Indoor Environments and the Influence of Temperature: A Case Study in a Test House

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journal contribution
posted on 18.08.2015, 00:00 by Chenyang Bi, Yirui Liang, Ying Xu
A case study in a test house was conducted to investigate the fate and transport of benzyl butyl phthalate (BBzP) and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in residential indoor environments and the influence of temperature. Total airborne concentrations of phthalates were sensitive to indoor temperatures, and their steady-state concentration levels increased by a factor of 3 with an increase in temperature from 21 to 30 °C. Strong sorption of phthalates was observed on interior surfaces, including dust, dish plates, windows, mirrors, fabric cloth, and wood. Equilibrium partitioning coefficients for phthalates adsorbed to these surfaces were determined, and their values decreased with increasing temperature. For impervious surfaces, dimensionless partitioning coefficients were calculated and found to be comparable to reported values of the octanol-air partition coefficients of phthalates, Koa, suggesting that an organic film may develop on these surfaces. In addition, sorption kinetics was studied experimentally, and the equilibration time scale for impervious surfaces was found to be faster than that of fabric cloth. Finally, using an indoor fate model to interpret the measurement results, there was good agreement between model predictions and the observed indoor air concentrations of BBzP in the test house.