Organophosphate flame retardants in indoor dust from Egypt: Implications for human exposure

Mohamed Abou Elwafa Abdallah*, Adrian Covaci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Citations (Scopus)


Organophosphate flame retardants (PFRs) have been proposed as alternatives for the phased out PBDE formulations. However, there exists no information on indoor dust contamination with PFRs in Africa. In this study, we report-for the first time-on levels and profiles of PFRs in dust samples from Egyptian houses (n = 20), offices (n = 20), cars (n = 20), and public microenvironments (PMEs; n = 11). Results revealed that PFR levels in Egyptian indoor dust are among the lowest reported worldwide. This may be attributed to less strict fire-safety standards and lack of regulatory actions against PBDEs. Triphenylphosphate was the only PFR detected in all samples with highest average concentration (386 ng g-1). While tris-2-chloroethyl phosphate, tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate and tris-1,3-dichloropropylphosphate showed higher detection frequency (DF = 69%, 57%, and 56%; average = 233, 229, and 144 ng g-1, respectively), tri(2-butoxyexthyl)phosphate (37%; 294 ng g-1) displayed the second highest average concentration. Statistical analysis revealed significantly (P <0.05) higher concentrations of PFRs in cars (average = 1011 ng g-1) and PMEs (2167 ng g-1) than in houses (310 ng g-1) and offices (450 ng g-1). Estimated exposures of adults and toddlers to PFRs via dust ingestion were much lower than the reported reference doses, indicating no immediate health risk to the Egyptian population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4782-4789
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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