Firefighter exposures to potential endocrine disrupting chemicals measured by military-style silicone dog tags

Environ Int. 2022 Jan;158:106914. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106914. Epub 2021 Oct 11.


Studies suggest that exposure to potential endocrine disrupting chemicals (pEDCs) may contribute to adverse health outcomes, but pEDC exposures among firefighters have not been fully characterized. Previously, we demonstrated the military-style silicone dog tag as a personal passive sampling device for assessing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposures among structural firefighters. This follow-up analysis examined the pEDC exposures based on department call volume, duty shift, and questionnaire variables. Structural firefighters (n = 56) were from one high and one low fire call volume department (Kansas City, MO metropolitan area) and wore separate dog tags while on- and off-duty (ndogtags = 110). The targeted 1530 analyte semi-quantitative screening method was conducted using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (npEDCs = 433). A total of 47 pEDCs were detected, and several less-frequently-detected pEDCs (<75%) were more commonly detected in off- compared to on-duty dog tags (conditional logistic regression). Of the 11 phthalates and fragrances detected most frequently (>75%), off-duty pEDC concentrations were strongly correlated (r = 0.31-0.82, p < 0.05), suggesting co-applications of phthalates and fragrances in consumer products. Questionnaire variables of "regular use of conventional cleaning products" and "fireplace in the home" were associated with select elevated pEDC concentrations by duty shift (paired t-test). This suggested researchers should include detailed questions about consumer product use and home environment when examining personal pEDC exposures.

Keywords: Firefighter; Passive sampling; Personal monitoring; Potential endocrine disrupting chemical.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Endocrine Disruptors* / toxicity
  • Firefighters*
  • Home Environment
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel*
  • Occupational Exposure* / analysis
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons* / analysis
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons* / toxicity
  • Silicones


  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Silicones