Exposure evaluation and risk assessment of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in dust from microenvironments in Nsukka, Nigeria

Abstract

The health risks of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) to toddlers, children, and adults in creches, nursery schools, cars, and offices in Nsukka, Nigeria, via inhalation, ingestion, and dermal exposure pathways were evaluated. Eight PBDEs congeners (BDE-28, BDE-47, BDE-100, BDE-99, BDE-154, BDE-153, BDE-183, and BDE-209) were determined using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. This is the first study on PBDEs in creches and nursery schools in Africa. The mean (median) ∑8PBDEs (ng/g) in creches, nursery schools, offices, and cars were 4355 (1850), 2095 (1130), and 37741 (2620) respectively. The concentrations of PBDEs between the three microenvironments were significantly different (p ˂ 0.05), and the highest concentration was found in cars. Ingestion of dust was the predominant pathway of exposure to PBDEs for toddlers and children, while dermal absorption was the dominant pathway for adults. Dermal absorption and ingestion in cars, creches, and nursery schools were of the same magnitude. Toddlers with the highest ingestion rate of PBDEs in creches, nursery schools, and cars are at risk especially from prolonged exposure.

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Data availability

The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the National Centre for Energy Research and Development (NCERD), University of Nigeria, Nsukka for the use of their facilities. Also, technical assistance by the laboratory staff of CTX-ION Analytics is hereby acknowledged.

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CNI designed the study, carried out statistical analysis, was involved in writing the manuscript, and supervised the project. EA carried out experimental studies and was also involved in writing of the manuscript. BI and DO were both involved in the experimental studies. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Cynthia Ibeto.

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Ibeto, C., Aju, E., Imafidon, B. et al. Exposure evaluation and risk assessment of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in dust from microenvironments in Nsukka, Nigeria. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13054-x

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Keywords

  • Creches
  • Dust
  • Exposure pathways
  • PBDEs
  • Pollution
  • Toddlers