Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Modeled exposure to phthalates via inhalation and dermal pathway in children’s sleeping environment: A preliminary study and its implications


indoor air, phthalates, exposure, children, sleeping environment


In this study, exposure to phthalates during children’s sleeping time was evaluated based on a mechanistic model. Airborne phase-specific concentrations in this model were estimated taking into account kinetic partitioning, particle dynamics and time-varying ventilation. Exposure pathways considered were inhalation exposure to airborne phases, dermal absorption from "air-to-skin" transport and direct contact. By taking di(n-butyl) phthalate (DnBP) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) as two representative pollutants, inhalation exposure accounted for >90% when children wore clean pajamas before going to bed. Dermal uptake significantly increased when children’s pajamas had absorbed DnBP before putting them on, whereas dermal uptake of DEHP was relatively lower and insensitive to the condition of clothing. Increasing air exchange rate at night and keeping clothes cleaner were effective for reducing children’s exposures during sleeping period. Further studies are necessary taking into account source-proximity effect, particle emissions and refined dermal exposure routes.