Organophosphate Esters (OPEs)

Organophosphate esters (OPEs) are frequently used as both flame retardants and plasticizers in a variety of different textiles, resins and materials used to manufacture furniture, building materials and electronics. They can also be found in some consumer products (e.g. nail polish).  Several OPEs are classified as potential carcinogens, and the indoor environment is known to be a primary source of exposure.  


We use liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to quantify 6 different OPE metabolites as reported in Phillips et al. 2018.

Sample submission requirements


1.0 mL collected in a urine specimen cup and transferred to a pre-cleaned glass or plastic cryovial for shipment. Samples should be frozen at -80C immediately after collection, and transported or shipped to the DCEE on dry ice.

Quality assurance & quality control

With each batch of samples analyzed we routinely measure laboratory processing blanks (LC grade water) and evaluate the recovery of the isotopically labeled internal standards. For urine samples we also include analysis of SRM 3673 for comparison to certified levels reported by NIST.


  • Duke affiliated researcher: $80/sample
  • Non-Duke affiliated researcher: $130/sample