Determinants of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in house dust samples from four areas of the United States

N. C. Deziel, J. R. Nuckols, J. S. Colt, A. J. De Roos, A. Pronk, C. Gourley, R. K. Severson, W. Cozen, J. R. Cerhan, P. Hartge, M. H. Ward

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20 Scopus citations


Determinants of levels of polychlorinated dibenzo- p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) in dust in U.S. homes are not well characterized. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the relationship between concentrations of PCDD/F in house dust and residential proximity to known sources, including industrial facilities and traffic. Samples from vacuum bag dust from homes of 40 residents of Detroit, Los Angeles, Seattle, or Iowa who participated in a population-based case-control study of non-Hodgkin lymphoma conducted in 1998-2000 were analyzed using high resolution gas chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry for 7 PCDD and 10 PCDF congeners considered toxic by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Locations of 10 types of PCDD/F-emitting facilities were obtained from the EPA; however only 4 types were located near study homes (non-hazardous waste cement kilns, coal-fired power plants, sewage sludge incinerators, and medical waste incinerators). Relationships between concentrations of each PCDD/F and proximity to industrial facilities, freight routes, and major roads were evaluated using separate multivariate regression models for each congener. The median (inter-quartile range [IQR]) toxic equivalence (TEQ) concentration of these congeners in the house dust was 20.3. pg/g (IQR = 14.3, 32.7). Homes within 3 or 5. km of a cement kiln had 2 to 9-fold higher concentrations of 5 PCDD and 5 PCDF (p < 0.1 in each model). Proximity to freight routes and major roads was associated with elevated concentrations of 1 PCDD and 8 PCDF. Higher concentrations of certain PCDD/F in homes near cement kilns, freight routes, and major roads suggest that these outdoor sources are contributing to indoor environmental exposures. Further study of the contribution of these sources and other facility types to total PCDD/F exposure in a larger number of homes is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-522
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • Dioxins
  • Dust
  • Environmental exposure
  • Furans
  • Geographic information systems
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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