This study assessed the health risks for children exposed to phthalate through several pathways including house dust, surface wipes and hand wipes in child facilities and indoor playgrounds.
The indoor samples were collected from various children's facilities (40 playrooms, 42 daycare centers, 44 kindergartens, and 42 indoor-playgrounds) in both summer (Jul-Sep, 2007) and winter (Jan-Feb, 2008). Hazard index (HI) was estimated for the non-carcinogens and the examined phthalates were diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), dibutyl-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), and butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP). The present study examined these four kinds of samples, i.e., indoor dust, surface wipes of product and hand wipes.
Among the phthalates, the detection rates of DEHP were 98% in dust samples, 100% in surface wipe samples, and 95% in hand wipe samples. In this study, phthalate levels obtained from floor dust, product surface and children's hand wipe samples were similar to or slightly less compared to previous studies. The 50th and 95th percentile value of child-sensitive materials did not exceed 1 (HI) for all subjects in all facilities.
For DEHP, DnBP and BBzP their detection rates through multi-routes were high and their risk based on health risk assessment was also observed to be acceptable. This study suggested that ingestion and dermal exposure could be the most important pathway of phthalates besides digestion through food.