Occupational Exposure of Canadian Nail Salon Workers to Plasticizers Including Phthalates and Organophosphate Esters

Nguyen LV, Diamond ML, Kalenge S, Kirkham TL, Holness DL, Arrandale VH. Environmental Science & Technology 2022. 56(5):3193–3203.

Personal exposure of nail salon workers to 10 phthalates and 19 organophosphate esters (OPEs) was assessed in 18 nail salons in Toronto, Canada. Active air samplers (n = 60) and silicone passive samplers, including brooches (n = 58) and wristbands (n = 60), were worn by 45 nail salon workers for ∼8 working hours. Diethyl phthalate (median = 471 ng m–3) and diisobutyl phthalate (337 ng m–3) were highest in active air samplers. Most abundant OPEs in active air samplers were tris(2-chloroisopropyl)phosphate or TCIPP (303 ng m–3) and tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate or TCEP (139 ng m–3), which are used as flame retardants but have not been reported for use in personal care products or nail salon accessories. Air concentrations of phthalates and OPEs were not associated with the number of services performed during each worker’s shift. Within a single work shift, a combined total of 16 (55%) phthalates and OPEs were detected on passive silicone brooches; 19 (66%) were detected on wristbands. Levels of tris(2-chloroisopropyl)phosphate, tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate or TDCIPP, and triphenyl phosphate or TPhP wristbands were significantly higher than those worn by e-waste workers. Significant correlations (p < 0.05) were found between the levels of some phthalates and OPEs in silicone brooches and wristbands versus those in active air samplers. Stronger correlations were observed between active air samplers versus brooches than wristbands. Sampler characteristics, personal characteristics, and chemical emission sources are the three main factors proposed to influence the use of passive samplers for measuring semi-volatile organic compound exposure.