Document Detail

Exposure of the Flemish population to brominated flame retardants: model and risk assessment.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20226530     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Human exposure to brominated flame retardants (BFRs) varies widely throughout the world as it depends on country-related usage, production and legislation of these chemicals. US and UK exposure assessments show very diverse levels and patterns which in turn, are likely to differ from those in background exposed countries such as Belgium, where levels tend to be about an order of magnitude lower. The current study assessed human exposure to BFRs through the indoor and outdoor environment (e.g. dust, soil, and air) and food for all age groups in Flanders, Belgium. Most relevant food groups were identified based on a national food consumption survey and food items with Flemish origin were collected. Dust samples were collected using a standardized protocol in 43 homes and 10 offices throughout Flanders. Food, human milk and dust samples were analysed for their polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE) and hexabromocyclodecane (HBCD) content using GC/MS and LC/MS-MS. An exposure model was developed including all analysed data, complemented with literature data. The model covered human exposure of infants, children and adults through human milk, food, dust/soil ingestion and air inhalation. Total human exposure was compared to the existing toxicological criteria and previous exposure estimates. In general, the exposure levels through human milk are consistent with those of a background exposed European population, whereas dust and food intake are at the low end of what has been reported in previous European intake assessments. Total average intake of SigmaHBCD and SigmaBDE(5) at 50th percentile (P50) levels by newborns equals 3.1 and 12.0ng/kg body weight (bw) day, respectively. This intake increases to 15.2 and 20.9ng/kgbwday for SigmaHBCD and SigmaBDE(5), for higher exposed newborns (95th percentile=P95 levels). Due to the limited database on health-based limit values for PBDEs and HBCD, it is difficult to assess the immediate health concern for any of the age groups, although the higher intake of newborns indicates the need for ongoing monitoring. For median exposed individuals, the average SigmaHBCD intake peaked at the age 3 to 6years with an intake of 6.59ng/kgbwday and declines to approximately 1ng/kgbwday at later age. SigmaBDE(5) intake exhibited a different profile compared to SigmaHBCD with maximal levels for newborns and a decline to approximately 0.7ng/kgbwday at adulthood.
Laurence Roosens; Christa Cornelis; Wendy D'Hollander; Lieven Bervoets; Hans Reynders; Karen Van Campenhout; Rosette Van Den Heuvel; Hugo Neels; Adrian Covaci
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-03-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environment international     Volume:  36     ISSN:  1873-6750     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ Int     Publication Date:  2010 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-04-05     Completed Date:  2010-06-15     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7807270     Medline TA:  Environ Int     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  368-76     Citation Subset:  IM    
Toxicological Centre, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium.
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MeSH Terms
Child, Preschool
Environmental Exposure*
Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
Flame Retardants / analysis*
Food Contamination*
Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / analysis
Hydrocarbons, Brominated / analysis,  toxicity
Infant, Newborn
Models, Statistical
Risk Assessment
Young Adult
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Environmental Pollutants; 0/Flame Retardants; 0/Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers; 0/Hydrocarbons, Brominated; 25637-99-4/hexabromocyclododecane

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