Document Detail

Environmental release and behavior of brominated flame retardants.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12850086     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Recently, environmental problems relating to brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have become a matter of greater concern than ever before, because of the recent marked increase in levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) found in human milk in Sweden and North America. The question that arises is whether environmental levels of PBDEs and other BFRs will continue to increase, causing toxic effects to humans. In an attempt to elucidate the current state of the science of BFRs, we review the consumer demand for BFRs (mainly in Japan), the characteristics of waste flame-retarded products, sources of emission, environmental behavior, routes of exposure of humans, temporal trends, and thermal-breakdown products of BFRs. At present, flame-retarded consumer products manufactured 10-20 years ago, when PBDEs were frequently used, are being dumped. The possible major sources of emission of BFRs into the environment are effluent and flue gases from BFR factories and other facilities processing BFRs. With respect to the environmental behavior of BFRs, the lower brominated compounds are, on the whole, predicted to be more volatile, more water soluble, and more bioaccumulative than the higher brominated compounds. The most probable route for exposure of the general human population to PBDEs, especially the lower brominated congeners, is through the diet. The release of BFRs from consumer products treated with these compounds could also lead to human exposure. Temporal trends in PBDE levels in the environment and in humans worldwide seem to vary considerably, depending on the regions or country, with possible reflections of the historic and current use of PBDEs. The environment and the general human population are also exposed to the thermal-breakdown products of PBDEs, such as polybrominated and mixed brominated/chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PBDDs/DFs and mixed PXDDs/DFs).
Isao Watanabe; Shin-ichi Sakai
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environment international     Volume:  29     ISSN:  0160-4120     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ Int     Publication Date:  2003 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-07-09     Completed Date:  2003-12-08     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7807270     Medline TA:  Environ Int     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  665-82     Citation Subset:  IM    
Osaka Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Nakamichi, Higasinariku, Osaka 537-0025, Japan.
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MeSH Terms
Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
Environmental Pollutants / toxicity*
Flame Retardants / toxicity*
Hydrocarbons, Brominated / chemistry*,  pharmacokinetics,  toxicity*
Models, Chemical*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Environmental Pollutants; 0/Flame Retardants; 0/Hydrocarbons, Brominated

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