Abstract People spend most of their time indoors. Dust settled in the home may be contaminated by semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). Exposure to these compounds is of great concern, in particular for infants. Their number is large so arose the question of which ones should be selected for dust ingestion exposure assessment. This work proposes a health ranking of SVOCs ingested through settled dust. This ranking is based on the toxicity and contamination of SVOCs in dust. Data on compounds and contamination was retrieved from a bibliographic review. Where possible, toxicity data was retrieved from databases, otherwise it was calculated from raw data. One hundred and fifty-six SVOCs were selected, 66 of which were prioritized. Forty-two could not be prioritized because contamination data was below the limit of detection, and 48 could not be prioritized because there was no contamination or toxicity data. The top-ranked compounds were phthalates, pesticides, short-chain chlorinated paraffins, PBDEs, PFCs, organotins, PCBs, and PAHs. As most of these have reprotoxic and neurotoxic properties, an integrated multi-pollutants approach to exposure is required and simultaneous measurement methods should be developed.
The large number of compounds identified in settled dust in recent years should be considered for the assessment of exposure to dust ingestion. This work provides a health ranking of SVOCs ingested through settled dust. Most of the top-ranked compounds have reprotoxic and neurotoxic properties, and particular attention should, therefore, be paid to them in future studies.