An integrated exposure assessment of phthalates for the general population in China based on both exposure scenario and biomonitoring estimation approaches

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Abstract

The representativeness of available studies on integrated exposure assessment of phthalates for the general population in China is lacking. Based on an exhaustive review of the extensive monitoring data available for China, this study presents a large-scale estimation of exposure levels to three typical phthalates, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), by applying both exposure scenario and biomonitoring estimation approaches. The respective median exposure levels from the exposure scenario and biomonitoring estimation approaches were 3.80, 3.02 and 1.00 μg/kg bw/day and 3.38, 3.21 and 3.32 μg/kg bw/day for DEHP, DBP and DiBP, which are acceptable levels of exposure with respect to current international guidelines. Evaluation results from the two approaches showed both similarities and differences among the different phthalates, making the exposure assessment comparable and more comprehensive. In terms of sources of exposure, food intake was the largest contributor, while indoor air exposure had greater contribution to the estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of DiBP than that of the other phthalates. Moreover, more attention should be paid to the higher exposure levels of phthalates in several intensively industrialized and urbanized areas, and the causes of the different exposure levels in the different regions need to be further explored.

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