A framework to model exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in indoor environments†
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) include a wide range of halogenated chemicals, which have been used as water- and stain-resistant coatings for consumer products and industrial purposes. PFAS are persistent in the environment and several are bioaccumulative, and thus relevant for human and environmental health. Given their pervasiveness, we need to understand how we are exposed to PFAS, especially in indoor environments where many people spend most of their time. Research on indoor exposure to semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) has progressed rapidly in recent years. Because many PFAS can be considered SVOCs, much of what has been learned about SVOCs may be used to guide research on PFAS exposure in indoor environments. Here, we briefly review what has been done to assess indoor exposure to PFAS. Then, we propose a systematic indoor exposure framework for PFAS based on methods to estimate exposure to SVOCs. We illustrate how critical parameters such as partition coefficients for different media (particles, dust, surfaces, and clothing) for different types of PFAS could be measured, how these measurements can be used in exposure models for PFAS, and how fundamental, predictive relationships might be used to estimate necessary parameters for emerging compounds.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Halogenated (semi)volatile organic compounds (“X(S)VOCs”)