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An Investigation of Homes with High Concentrations of PCDDs, PCDFs, and/or Dioxin-Like PCBs in House Dust

Publication Abstract

Franzblau, A., L. Zwica, K. Knutson, Q.X. Chen, S.Y. Lee, B.L. Hong, P. Adriaems, A. Demond, D. Garabrant, B. Gillespie, James M. Lepkowski, W. Luksemburg, M. Maier, and T. Towey. 2009. "An Investigation of Homes with High Concentrations of PCDDs, PCDFs, and/or Dioxin-Like PCBs in House Dust." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 6(3).

As part of the University of Michigan Dioxin Exposure Study, the 29 congeners of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls that have World Health Organization consensus toxic equivalency factors were measured in house dust from 764 homes using a population-based sampling design over selected regions in five Michigan counties. Twenty homes had a total toxic equivalency in house dust that was more than 2.5 standard deviations above the mean (i.e., defined to be outliers). This follow-up investigation describes the outlier house dust measurements and corresponding soil measurements and explores possible sources of these toxins in house dust. The congener distributions in the house dust outliers varied and were dominated (i.e., 50% of the total toxic equivalency) by either polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (n = 9), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (n = 1), or dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (n = 9). Likely sources of contamination of house dust were identified in only three cases. In two cases, dust contamination appeared to be related to contaminated soil adjacent to the home; in one case, contamination was related to a source within the home (a carpet pad). In most cases, the source(s) of contamination of house dust could not be identified but appeared likely to be related to uncharacterized sources within the homes. [Supplementary materials are available for this article. Go to the publisher's online edition of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene for the following free supplemental resource: a PDF file containing a summary of baseline and dust outlier interview questions and tables containing PCB, PCDD, and PCDF concentrations in various samples of house dust and soil.].

DOI:10.1080/15459620802694975 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States.

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