Styrene in indoor air can adversely affect human health. In this study, styrene monomer and other chemical emission fluxes for products containing expanded polystyrene beads (pillows, cushions, and soft toys) were measured at various temperatures to simulate typical product use. The contributions of the products to styrene and other chemical concentrations in indoor air and human exposure to these chemicals were estimated, and health risk assessments were performed. The styrene monomer emission fluxes for the samples at 25oC were between 25.3 and 8.73×103 μg/(m2 h). The styrene emission fluxes for the product surfaces increased strongly as the temperature increased, from between 124 and 2.44×104 μg/(m2 h) at 36 oC (simulating human body temperature) to between 474 and 4.59×104 μg/(m2 h) at 50oC (simulating inside an automobile in summer). The hexane, heptane, toluene, octane, ethylbenzene, m- and p-xylene, o-xylene, and dodecane emission fluxes at 25oC for the sample that emitted the analytes most readily were high. The maximum estimated styrene and xylene concentrations in indoor air caused by emissions from expanded polystyrene beads at 36oC in a bedroom and automobile were higher than the relevant guidelines. The maximum contribution of a product containing expanded polystyrene beads in a living room, bedroom, or automobile could cause the total volatile organic compound concentration in air to exceed the advisable value (400 μg/m3). The estimated maximum hazard quotients for styrene, toluene, and xylene emitted by a product containing expanded polystyrene beads at 36oC in a bedroom were 0.59, 0.30, and 0.37, respectively. These non-carcinogenic risk values for single products could contribute to the non-carcinogenic risk thresholds being exceeded when multiple products and other sources of chemicals are taken into consideration. The estimated styrene concentrations suggest that products containing expanded polystyrene beads are important sources of styrene to indoor air.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)