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, 1 (2), 152-155

Flame Retardant Applications in Camping Tents and Potential Exposure


Flame Retardant Applications in Camping Tents and Potential Exposure

Alexander S Keller et al. Environ Sci Technol Lett.


Concern has mounted over health effects caused by exposure to flame retardant additives used in consumer products. Significant research efforts have focused particularly on exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) used in furniture and electronic applications. However, little attention has focused on applications in textiles, particularly textiles meeting a flammability standard known as CPAI-84. In this study, we investigated flame retardant applications in camping tents that met CPAI-84 standards by analyzing 11 samples of tent fabrics for chemical flame retardant additives. Furthermore, we investigated potential exposure by collecting paired samples of tent wipes and hand wipes from 27 individuals after tent setup. Of the 11 fabric samples analyzed, 10 contained flame retardant additives, which included tris(1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate (TDCPP), decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209), triphenyl phosphate, and tetrabromobisphenol-A. Flame retardant concentrations were discovered to be as high as 37.5 mg/g (3.8% by weight) in the tent fabric samples, and TDCPP and BDE-209 were the most frequently detected in these samples. We also observed a significant association between TDCPP levels in tent wipes and those in paired hand wipes, suggesting that human contact with the tent fabric material leads to the transfer of the flame retardant to the skin surface and human exposure. These results suggest that direct contact with flame retardant-treated textiles may be a source of exposure. Future studies will be needed to better characterize exposure, including via inhalation and dermal sorption from air.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Association of TDCPP in tent wipes and paired hand wipe samples.

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