Environ Res. 2022 Sep;212(Pt A):113192. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.113192. Epub 2022 Mar 25.
Organophosphate esters (OPE) are flame retardants and plasticizers used in a wide range of consumer products. Despite their widespread use, few studies have characterized pediatric exposures. We assessed variability and predictors of OPE exposures in a cohort panel study of 179 predominantly Black school-aged children with asthma in Baltimore City, MD. The study design included up to four seasonal week-long in-home study visits with urine sample collection on days 4 and 7 of each visit (nsamples = 618). We quantified concentrations of 9 urinary OPE biomarkers: bis(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (BCEtp), bis(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCPP), di-benzyl phosphate (DBuP), di-benzyl phosphate, di-o-cresylphosphate, di-p-cresylphosphate (DPCP), di-(2-propylheptyl) phthalate (DPHP), 2,3,4,5-tetrabromo benzoic acid. We assessed potential predictors of exposure, including demographic factors, household characteristics, and cleaning behaviors. We calculated Spearman/tetrachoric correlations and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) to examine within-week and seasonal intra-individual variability, respectively. We assessed OPE predictors using linear models for continuous log2 concentrations (BDCPP and DPHP) and logistic models for odds of detection (BCEtP, DBuP, DPCP), with generalized estimating equations to account for repeated measures. For all OPEs, we observed moderate within-week correlations (rs: 0.31-0.63) and weak to moderate seasonal reliability (ICC: 0.18-0.38). BDCPP and DPHP concentrations were higher in the summer compared to other seasons. DPHP concentrations were lower among males than females (%diff: -53.5%; 95% CI: -62.7, -42.0) and among participants spending >12 h/day indoors compared to ≤12 h (%diff: -20.7%; 95% CI: -32.2, -7.3). BDCPP concentrations were lower among children aged 8-10 years compared to 5-7 years (%diff: -39.1%; 95% CI: -55.9, -15.9) and higher among children riding in a vehicle on the day of sample collection compared to those who had not (%diff: 28.5%; 95% CI: 3.4, 59.8). This study is the first to characterize within-week and seasonal variability and identify predictors of OPE biomarkers among Black school-aged children, a historically understudied population.