Tri(2,4-di-t-butylphenyl) Phosphate: A Previously Unrecognized, Abundant, Ubiquitous Pollutant in the Built and Natural Environment

Venier M, Stubbings WA, Guo J, Romanak K, Nguyen LV, Jantunen L, Melymuk L, Arrandale VH, Diamond ML, Hites RA. Environmental science & technology. 2018 Nov 20;52(22):12997-13003.

Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, we identified tri(2,4-di- t-butylphenyl) phosphate (TDTBPP) in e-waste dust. This is a previously unsuspected pollutant that had not been reported before in the environment. To assess its abundance in the environment, we measured its concentration in e-waste dust, house dust, sediment from the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, Indiana Harbor water filters, and filters from high-volume air samplers deployed in Chicago, IL. To provide a context for interpreting these quantitative results, we also measured the concentrations of triphenyl phosphate (TPhP), a structurally similar compound, in these samples. Median concentrations of TDTBPP and TPhP were 14 400 and 41 500 ng/g, respectively, in e-waste dust and 4900 and 2100 ng/g, respectively, in house dust. TDTBPP was detected in sediment, water, and air with median concentrations of 527 ng/g, 3700 pg/L, and 149 pg/m3, respectively. TDTBPP concentrations were generally higher or comparable to those of TPhP in all media analyzed, except for the e-waste dust. Exposure from dust ingestion and dermal absorption in the e-waste recycling facility and in homes was calculated. TDTBPP exposure was 571 ng/kg bw/day in the e-waste recycling facility (pro-rated for an 8-h shift), and 536 ng/kg bw and 7550 ng/kg bw/day for adults and toddlers, respectively, in residential environments.