Ertl1, H., Müller2, M. and Butte1, W. 1Carl-von-Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Working Group Prof. Butte, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany, 2Carl-von-Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Institute of Biology and Environmental Sciences, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany.

Indoor contamination has been rated as a high environmental risk, as people living in industrialized countries spend about 80-90 % of their individual live time indoors [1]. Several epidemiological studies showed a link between the application of pesticides indoors and diseases like leukemia and lymphoid cancer [2]. House dust is an important indicator of indoor contamination regarding semi volatile and nonvolatile compounds [3]. It can be assumed that it also serves as an important pathway of human exposure to environmental xenobiotics, as it might contain high concentrations of endocrine disrupting pesticides as well as polychlorinated biphenyls. The levels, sources and distribution of xenobiotics in house dust have been examined in several studies. The main pathways of exposure, i.e. via skin, digestive system and respiratory tract, have not yet been investigated. This study examines the percutaneous absorption of eight common pesticides in house dust (PCP, DDT, lindane, methoxychlor, propoxur, chlorpyrifos, permethrin and piperonyl butoxide) and of six polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB 28, 52, 101, 138, 153, 180). They are present in house dust in concentrations up to some hundred milligrams per kilogram (Table 1). The main focus of the study is to determine the percutaneous penetration of the pesticides and PCB mentioned above and the effect of surfactants on the penetration. House dust may contain some ‰ of surfactants (mainly detergents) (Table 2). Average concentrations are about 20 mg/kg for the sum of cationic surfactants, 110 mg/kg for the sum of anionic and 1600 mg/kg for the sum of nonionic surfactants[4].

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