Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-2590
2009-07-12

An Indicative Evaluation to Determine if Selected Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals can be Detected and Warrant Further Investigation in Royal Navy Submarines 2009-01-2590

Currently there are no submarine atmosphere exposure limits set for endocrine disrupting contaminants. Previous house dust research suggests that worrying levels of these contaminants can be detected in dust particles within the household environment. Endocrine disrupting contaminants can interfere with reproductive and immune systems, imitate hormones and potentially cause cancer in a variety of living organisms. Dust acts as a suitable medium for the collection of a wide variety of contaminants as it acts as a reservoir detailing historical exposure faced by the environment in question.
While the existence of these contaminants has been monitored to some extent in house dust, the impact that the contaminants may have within an enclosed breathable atmosphere has not yet been investigated. With this in mind, four endocrine disrupting chemical groups that were believed to exist within the submarine environment, were specifically targeted for analysis. They were: alkylphenols, brominated flame retardants, phthalate esters and organotins.
The selected contaminants commonly found within house dust, were monitored for using previously published or slightly modified sampling and analysis techniques in a submarine. The data produced from this trial was indicative as it was only generated from one submarine atmosphere. The data was used to identify if potential exposure to the selected contaminants is greater in the submarine atmosphere than that quoted in previous research papers for house dust.
The results indicate that the levels of alkylphenols detected on board were similar to that found in previously published house dust data. However, significantly higher levels of phthalate esters, were detected within the submarine and this merits some further investigation. The need for further development of analysis techniques for brominated flame retardants and organotins was also identified, and the limitations of existing techniques will be discussed within this paper.
The content of this paper is based on an MSc thesis written by the author and presented to Portsmouth University.

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