Occurrence of organophosphate flame retardants and plasticizers in a laundry factory for home and office cleaning tools

Takigami, H.; Suzuki, G.; Hirai, Y.; Sakai, S. (2010) Organohalogen Compounds, 72: 941-943


Organophosphorus compounds (OPs) have been used as flame retardants and plasticizers added to consumer products and building materials. Reportedly, parts-per-hundred order concentrations of OPs have been used in many products. Water, air and dust concentrations detected in past studies, in which detection of the OPs with high concentrations seems to depend on their use frequency and physicochemical properties, underscores their influence on environmental behavior1-4. It should be noted that OPs are scheduled for use or have already been used as substitutes for existing additive compounds such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Thus, the occurrence and behavior of OPs and relative compounds should be more considered as a risk factor. Home and office cleaning textile tools such as floor mops, door mats and clean cloths are generally used to remove contamination like dust, sand and mud from the surface. Consequently, these tools could collect and accumulate OPs through their use, which reflects actual situation of OP contamination in the home and office environment. In this study, we investigated a laundry factory for the above cleaning tools in Japan. In the plant, we focused on the laundry wastewater treatment process to know the treatability of OPs and their distribution behavior between water and suspended particles during the treatment. In addition, through the analysis of floor dust and wastewater sludge in the factory, we attempt to feature general OP levels and patterns in house and office dust in Japan. OP levels were also compared to BFR levels which were investigated at the same time5.