Personal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in residential indoor air

Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Jul 1;41(13):4574-9. doi: 10.1021/es0703170.


We used personal air samplers to measure indoor air exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) for 20 residents of the Greater Boston Area (Massachusetts). Area air measures were simultaneously collected from two rooms in each participant's home. Total personal air concentrations (particulate + vapor) were 469 pg/m3 for non-209 BDEs and 174 pg/m3 for BDE 209, significantly higher than bedroom and main living room concentrations (p = 0.01). The ratio of personal air to room air increased from 1 for vapor-phase congeners to 4 for fully particulate-bound congeners, indicating a personal cloud effect. Bedroom and main living area air samples were moderately correlated for non-209 BDEs (r = 0.45, p = 0.045) and BDE 209 (r = 0.58, p = 0.008). Use of personal air concentrations increased estimates of inhalation exposure over those previously reported. Inhalation may account for up to 22% of the total BDE 209 exposure in U.S. adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor*
  • Boston
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Inhalation Exposure
  • Phenyl Ethers / analysis*
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls / analysis*


  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Phenyl Ethers
  • Polybrominated Biphenyls
  • pentabromodiphenyl ether