Posted on 15/01/2015 in News 32 2015
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Organophosphorus (OP) flame retardants: a review of environmental studies on OP substances used as plasticisers or FRs looks at human exposure to 3 halogenated OPFRs, 6 OP plasticisers and 3 non-halogen OPFRs. The non-halogen OPFRs were not bioaccumulative and human exposure through food or breast milk feeding was negligible.

Exposure to additive OPFRs through inhalation of indoor air or through dust was considered to be of possible concern and further research on long-term health effects of low-level exposure is called for. Further development of “reactive” phosphorus FRs, which react into polymers and which do not risk emissions from products, would avoid these exposure questions.

FRs in a food web: in a study of FRs in an estuary food web in the Netherlands, OPFRs did not tend to accumulate in lipids in organisms, indicating that they do not bioaccumulate. Three of the OPFRs showed some trophic magnification (higher levels in higher organisms) in benthic (bottom dwelling) organisms, probably due to uptake from sediments.

PFR breakdown and excretion: a study of around 50 mothers and their children in Norway shows concentrations of di-aryl phosphorus esters (DAPs) in urine proportional to levels of tri aryl phosphorus PFRs (TAPs) in household dust and to time spent indoors. This confirms that these PFRs are broken down and their metabolites eliminated in urine.

“Review. Organophosphorus flame retardants and plasticizers: Sources, occurrence, toxicity and human exposure”, G-L. Wei et al., Environmental Pollution 196 (2015) 29e46

“Tracing organophosphorus and brominated flame retardants and plasticizers in an estuarine food web”, S. Brandsma et al., Science of the Total Environment 505 (2015) 22–31
“Human exposure pathways to organophosphate triesters — A biomonitoring study of mother–child pairs”, E. Cequier et al., Environment International 75 (2015) 159–165

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