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Silicone wristbands as personal passive samplers of exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls in contaminated buildings

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  • Marie Frederiksen, Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Arbejdsmiljø
  • ,
  • Helle Vibeke Andersen, Aalborg University
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  • Sofie Lillelund Ovesen, Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Arbejdsmiljø
  • ,
  • Katrin Vorkamp
  • Stephanie C. Hammel, Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Arbejdsmiljø
  • ,
  • Lisbeth E. Knudsen, University of Copenhagen

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were used in a number of industrial products from 1950 to 80s, including building materials. As a result, some buildings exhibit high levels of PCBs in the indoor environment. The aim of this study was to test silicone wristbands as a method for estimating personal exposure to PCBs in buildings both in controlled experiments and field settings. In the controlled study, the sampling kinetics of silicone wristbands were investigated in a 31-day uptake study. The field study focused on the application of wristbands as a personal exposure measure. It included 71 persons in a contaminated housing estate and 23 persons in a reference group. The linear uptake of PCBs ranged from 2 to 24 days for PCB-8, 18, 28, 31, 40, 44, 49, 52, 66, 99, and 101 under controlled conditions. A generic sampling rate (Rk) of 2.3 m3 d-1 corresponding to a mass transfer coefficient of 17 m h−1 was found in the controlled kinetic study. Partitioning coefficients were also determined for the nine congeners. In the field study, an apparent generic field sampling rate (Rf) of 2.6 m3 d-1 was found; when adjusted to reported hours exposed, it increased to 3.5 m3 d-1. The wristbands were shown to be a good tool for predicting airborne exposure, as there was a highly significant difference between the exposed and reference group as well as a clear trend when used for ranking of exposure. In correlation analyses, highly significant correlations were observed between air and wristband levels, though adjusting by self-reported exposure time only increased the correlation marginally in the field study. The obtained kinetic data can be used for estimating the magnitude of external exposure. The advantages provided by the wristbands in the form of easy use and handling are significant, though the limitations should also be acknowledged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107397
JournalEnvironment International
Volume167
Number of pages9
ISSN0160-4120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

    Research areas

  • Human exposure, Indoor air, Partitioning coefficient, PCB, Sampling rate

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