Organophosphate esters (OPEs) in atmospheric particulate matter in different Brazilian regions


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Organophosphate esters (OPEs) have been widely used as plasticizers. Current studies have shown that these compounds may constitute atmospheric particulate matter (PM), but no research has focused on detecting these substances in Brazil. Hence, our research aims to determine OPEs concentrations in 26 PM10 samples from three Brazilian cities in different regions. The substances found were tri-n-butyl phosphate (TNBP), tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCIPP), triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), tris(2-butoxyethyl)phosphate (TBOEP), 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate (EHDPHP) and tris(2-ethylhexyl)phosphate (TEHP). In CatalAo, the most abundant compounds were TNBP and TPHP, in Limeira TPHP and TEHP, and in Novo Hamburgo TEHP and TBOEP. Statistical analyses were performed to correlate the concentrations with meteorological variables. Results showed that temperature had a negative correlation with TBOEP, relative humidity had a negative correlation with TPHP and TEHP, atmospheric pressure had a positive correlation with TPHP, and wind speed had a significant influence on total and TPHP. Moreover, human exposure to these substances presents a negligible risk, for both children and adults. Environmental significance Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) is a pollutant that can cause damage to human health. Given this scenario, it is of extreme relevance to research PM concentration and composition, especially when it includes the identi.cation of pollutants. Organophosphate.ame retardants (OPFRs) are ubiquitous contaminants frequently detected in PM. However, no study evaluated their occurrence in PM samples from Brazil. Thus, it is necessary to determine the concentration of these compounds in the atmosphere to evaluate their principal emission sources and risks. In this study, PM samples were collected in three different regions in Brazil and several OPFRs were frequently detected, but at levels that do not pose a risk to humans. Also, the in.uence of meteorological variables and anthropogenic activities was assessed.
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