Publication details

Measuring exposure of e-waste dismantlers in Dhaka Bangladesh to organophosphate esters and halogenated flame retardants using silicone wristbands and T-shirts

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WANG Yan PERIS Andrea RIFAT Mohammad Rashidujjaman AHMED Syed Ishtiaque AICH Nirupam NGUYEN Linh V. URÍK Jakub ELJARRAT Ethel VRANA Branislav JANTUNEN Liisa M. DIAMOND Miriam L.

Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Science of the Total Environment
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords E-waste; Flame retardants; Silicone wristband; T-shirt; Human exposure; Dermal uptake
Description Silicone (polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS) wristbands and cotton T-shirts were used to assess the exposure of e-waste recyclers in Dhaka, Bangladesh to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), novel brominated flame retardants (NBFRs), dechlorane plus (DPs), and organophosphate esters (OPEs). The median surface-normalized uptake rates of PBDEs, NBFRs, DPs, and OPEs were 170, 8.5, 4.8, and 270 ng/dm(2)/h for wristbands and 5.4, 2.0, 0.94, and 23 ng/dm(2)/h for T-shirts, respectively. Concentrations of Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP), Tri-m-cresyl phosphate (TmCP), Bis(2-ethlyhexyl) tetrabromophthalate (BEH-TEBP), and Dechlorane plus (DPs) in wrist bands were significantly correlated with those in T-shirts. Wristbands accumulated similar to 7 times more mass than T-shirts, especially of compounds expected to be mainly in the gas phase. We introduce the silicone "sandwich" method to approximate the easily releasable fraction (ERF) from T-shirts, hypothesized to be related to dermal exposure. ERFs varied from 6 to 75% of total chemical accumulated by T-shirts and were significantly negatively correlated with compounds' octanol-air partition coefficient (log K-oa). The median daily exposure doses via dermal transfer from the front of the T-shirt to the front body trunk were 0.32, 0.13, 0.11, and 9.1 ng/kg-BW/day for PBDEs, NBFRs, DPs, and OPEs, respectively. The evidence of e-waste re-cycler exposure to flame retardants in this low income country, lacking protective personal equipment, calls for measures to minimize their exposure and for chemical management regulations to consider exposures to chemicals in waste products.
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