Children Absorb tris-BP Flame Retardant From Sleepwear: Urine Contains the Mutagenic Metabolite, 2,3-dibromopropanol

Science. 1978 Sep 15;201(4360):1020-3. doi: 10.1126/science.684422.


The flame retardant, tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate (tris-BP), which is a mutagen and causes cancer and sterility in animals is absorbed from fabric by people. 2,3-Dibromopropanol, a metboloite of tris-BP and a mutagen itself, has been found in the urine samples of ten children who were wearing or who had worn tris-BP-treated sleepwear. Eight of these children were wearing well-washed sleepwear and the possibility of absorption of tris-BP from well-washed sleepwear discussed. 2,3-Dibromopropanol was not found in the urines of one child and one adult who had never worn tris-BP-treated garments.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 1-Propanol / urine
  • Child
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Clothing*
  • Female
  • Flame Retardants / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated / metabolism
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Mutagens / metabolism*
  • Organophosphates / metabolism*
  • Propanols*
  • Skin Absorption*


  • Flame Retardants
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated
  • Mutagens
  • Organophosphates
  • Propanols
  • tris(2,3-dibromopropyl)phosphate
  • 1-Propanol
  • 2,3-dibromopropanol