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Exposure monitoring for natural and anthropogenic polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and derivatives in Puget Sound, Washington, area volunteers.
Toxicologist 2014 Mar; 138(1):591
Synthetic polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been widely used as flame retardants in many consumer products including electronic devices. The most important routes of human exposure appear to be from contaminated food and contact with dust found in households and workplaces. Structurally related derivatives of PBDEs are the hydroxylated (OH-PBDEs) and methoxylated forms (MeOPBDEs). Experimental evidence suggests the OH-PBDEs pose greater health risks than other forms of PBDEs. Certain OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs are also marine natural products and it is unclear although likely, that marine fish and shellfish, which bioaccumulate these compounds serve as a vector for human exposures. In this study, we are measuring approximately 120 different PBDE, OH-PBDEs and MeO-PBDEs in household/workplace dust and blood plasma samples provided by human volunteers living in the Puget Sound region of Washington State and working in either the commercial fishing or recycling industries. The commercial fishing occupation is largely an outdoor activity that promotes above average seafood consumption while electronic recycling may expose workers to dust with higher than average levels of PBDEs. Thus, comparison of PBDE levels in samples associated with these occupations may provide insight on the relative importance of dust vs. food as a source of PBDEs. Initial results suggest the pattern of PBDE distribution in volunteers that consume low amounts of seafood are more comparable relative to those from volunteers consuming higher than average amounts of seafood. For example, no MeO-PBDEs were detected in volunteers consuming low amounts of seafood. Also, comparison of results from volunteers of white-European, African-American and Hispanic ethnicity suggested ethnicity was not an important variable in determining PBDE congener content of plasma relative to occupation and other lifestyle attributes.
Toxicology; Flame-retardants; Synthetics; Electronic-devices; Humans; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Contaminated-food; Dusts; Dust-exposure; Health-hazards; Blood-samples; Fishing-industry; Demographic-characteristics; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Racial-factors
Issue of Publication
The Toxicologist. Society of Toxicology 53rd Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, March 23-27, 2014, Phonex, Arizona
Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division