Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in paired dust and carpets from childcare centers
By Yan Wu, Kevin Romanak, Tom Bruton, Arlene Blum, and Marta Venier
April 29, 2020
Carpets can be a significant source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the indoor environment and may be an especially important source of exposure for children and toddlers. Most previous studies focused on measuring indoor dust only. In this study, we measured PFAS concentrations in paired carpet and dust samples from 18 California childcare centers in 2018 to investigate carpet as a contributor to PFASs in dust. Median total PFAS concentrations (∑PFASs) in carpets and dust were 471 ng/g and 523 ng/g, respectively. 6:2 FTOH and 6:2 FTSA were the two dominant PFASs, collectively accounting for over 50% of the ∑PFASs in both media. Other frequently detected PFASs included C4–C14 perfluoroalkylcarboxylic acids, C4–C8 perfluoroalkylsulfonic acids, PFDS, 4:2 FTSA, 8:2 FTSA, FOSA, MeFOSE, EtFOSE, 8:2 FTOH, and 10:2 FTOH. We found strong associations between PFAS levels in carpet and dust pairs, suggesting that carpets can be a source and a sink for PFASs. The estimated total perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAA) intake via dust ingestion for children was 0.023, 0.096, and 1.9 ng/kg body weight/day in the low-, intermediate-, and high-exposure scenarios, respectively. Our data suggest that PFASs of emerging concern are playing an increasingly important role in indoor exposure to PFASs.