Endocrine Disruptor Chemical Prevalent in Office Buildings6 years, 7 months ago
Posted on Apr 05, 2013, 6 a.m.
Office workers carry biomarker of TDCPP -- chlorinated tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate, or 'chlorinated tris' – a known cancer causing endocrine disruptor.
A flame retardant removed from children's pajamas 30 years ago but now used in polyurethane foam is prevalent in office environments, especially in older buildings, where urine testing of workers turned up widespread evidence of its biomarker. TDCPP -- chlorinated tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate, or 'chlorinated tris' is an additive to polyurethane foam used in upholstered furniture. It is found in dust, where it can likely lead to human exposure. Potential health effects remain a concern. In 2011, TDCPP was added to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known by the State of California to cause cancer. Courtney C. Carignan,, from Boston University School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues enrolled 31 adults who worked and lived in the Boston area who underwent urine testing to identify levels of TDCPP. The study found that the office environment was the strongest predictor of metabolized TDCPP in urine, with significantly lower concentrations of the chemical among workers in a new office building than in older buildings. Similarly, the average concentration of TDCPP in dust was significantly lower in the new office building than in the older office buildings. The study investigators warn that: ‘Overall our findings suggest that exposure to TDCPP in the work environment is one of the contributors to the personal exposure for office workers.”
Courtney C. Carignan, Michael D. McClean, Ellen M. Cooper, Deborah J. Watkins, Alicia J. Fraser, Wendy Heiger-Bernays, Heather M. Stapleton, Thomas F. Webster. “Predictors of tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate metabolite in the urine of office workers.” Environment International, Volume 55, May 2013, Pages 56-61.