Assessing exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) for workers in the vicinity of a large recycling facility

Hearn, Laurence K., Hawker, Darryl W., Toms, Leisa-Maree L. and Mueller, Jochen F. (2013) Assessing exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) for workers in the vicinity of a large recycling facility. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 92 222-228. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2013.02.013

Author Hearn, Laurence K.
Hawker, Darryl W.
Toms, Leisa-Maree L.
Mueller, Jochen F.
Title Assessing exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) for workers in the vicinity of a large recycling facility
Journal name Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0147-6513
Publication date 2013-03
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2013.02.013
Volume 92
Start page 222
End page 228
Total pages 7
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Increased levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) can occur particularly in dust and soil surrounding facilities that recycle products containing PBDEs. This may be the source of increased exposure for nearby workers and residents. To investigate, we measured PBDE levels in soil, office dust and blood of workers at the closest workplace (i.e. within 100 m) to a large automotive shredding and metal recycling facility in Brisbane, Australia. The workplace investigated in this study was independent of the automotive shredding facility and was one of approximately 50 businesses of varying types within a relatively large commercial/industrial area surrounding the recycling facility. Concentrations of PBDEs in soils were at least an order of magnitude greater than background levels in the area. Congener profiles were dominated by larger molecular weight congeners; in particular BDE-209. This reflected the profile in outdoor air samples previously collected at this site. Biomonitoring data from blood serum indicated no differential exposure for workers near the recycling facility compared to a reference group of office workers, also in Brisbane. Unlike air, indoor dust and soil sample profiles, serum samples from both worker groups were dominated by congeners BDE-47, BDE-153, BDE-99, BDE-100 and BDE-183 and was similar to the profile previously reported in the general Australian population. Estimated exposures for workers near the industrial point source suggested indoor workers had significantly higher exposure than outdoor workers due to their exposure to indoor dust rather than soil. However, no relationship was observed between blood PBDE levels and different roles and activity patterns of workers on-site. These comparisons of PBDE levels in serum provide additional insight into the inter-individual variability within Australia. Results also indicate congener patterns in the workplace environment did not match blood profiles of workers. This was attributed to the relatively high background exposures for the general Australian population via dietary intake and the home environment.
Keyword Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
Near-source exposure
Exposure assessment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 15 March 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
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Created: Thu, 11 Apr 2013, 15:11:01 EST by Robyne Anderson on behalf of National Res Centre For Environmental Toxicology