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Studies of the Fate and Behaviour of Brominated Flame Retardants in Domestic Kitchens


The objectives of this project are to investigate:
<ul><li>concentrations of BFRs in kitchen dust and air</li>
<li>BFR contamination of kitchen utensils</li>
<li>the partitioning of BFRs between food and indoor air and dust</li></ul>

<p>Volunteer households will be selected from the local community. This approach has been successful on previous occasions. Analytical work will be carried out at the University of Birmingham or its academic partners.</p>

<p>The project is mainly funded by the National Environmental Research Council and the Chinese Academy of Science. The funding contribution from the Agency will allow timely access to results and the opportunity to comment on the scientific approach. </p>

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<p>Background: Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are present in a wide range of products and materials including soft furnishings, building materials and electrical and electronic goods. A large number of scientific papers have been published on the migration of BFRs into the indoor environment in living rooms, bedrooms, schoolrooms and offices, and the consequent human (and domestic pet) exposure through inhalation and ingestion. However, there has been no similar work in domestic kitchens. BFRs are incorporated into large and small plastic kitchen appliances (dishwashers, fridges, food processors, toasters, kettles etc.), often in quite high quantities. Various textiles used in kitchens (curtains and blinds, chair coverings) will also contain BFRs, and generally it is not unusual for TVs and laptops to be used in kitchens. All of these are potential BFR sources and BFR-containing dust could settle on exposed food or be transferred to food during handling and preparation. </p>

University of Birmingham
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