Urinary biomarkers of flame retardant exposure among collegiate U.S. gymnasts
Carignan, Courtney C.
Stapleton, Heather M.
McClean, Michael D.
Webster, Thomas F.
Date of Issue2016
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Flame retardants are widely used in polyurethane foam materials including gymnastics safety equipment such as pit cubes and landing mats. We previously reported elevated concentrations of flame retardants in the air and dust of a U.S. gymnastics training facility and elevated PentaBDE in the serum of collegiate gymnasts. Our objective in this pilot study was to compare urinary biomarkers of exposure to other flame retardants and additives of polyurethane foam including tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP), triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) and 2-ethylhexyl- 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EH-TBB) in samples collected from 11 collegiate gymnasts before and after a gymnastics practice (n = 53 urine samples total). We identified a 50% increase in the TPHP biomarker (p = 0.03) from before to after practice, a non-significant 22% increase in the TDCIPP biomarker (p = 0.14) and no change for the EH-TBB biomarker. These preliminary results indicate that the gymnastics training environment can be a source of recreational exposure to flame retardants. Such exposures are likely widespread, as we identified flame retardants in 89% of foam samples collected from gyms across the U.S.
© 2016 Elsevier. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Environment International, Elsevier. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2016.06.030].