Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in matched samples of human milk, dust and indoor air

Toms, Leisa-Maree L., Hearn, Laurence, Kennedy, Karen, Harden, Fiona, Bartkow, Michael, Temme, Christian and Mueller, Jochen (2009) Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in matched samples of human milk, dust and indoor air. Environment International, 35 6: 864-869. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2009.03.001


Author Toms, Leisa-Maree L.
Hearn, Laurence
Kennedy, Karen
Harden, Fiona
Bartkow, Michael
Temme, Christian
Mueller, Jochen
Title Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in matched samples of human milk, dust and indoor air
Formatted title
Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers PBDEs in matched samples of human milk, dust and indoor air
Journal name Environment International   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0160-4120
Publication date 2009-08-05
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.envint.2009.03.001
Open Access Status
Volume 35
Issue 6
Start page 864
End page 869
Total pages 6
Editor Ruth Alcock
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Subject 050206 Environmental Monitoring
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
920405 Environmental Health
969999 Environment not elsewhere classified
C1
Abstract Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are lipophilic, persistent pollutants found worldwide in environmental and human samples. Exposure pathways for PBDEs remain unclear but may include food, air and dust. The aim of this study was to conduct an integrated assessment of PBDE exposure and human body burden using 10 matched samples of human milk, indoor air and dust collected in 2007–2008 in Brisbane, Australia. In addition, temporal analysis was investigated comparing the results of the current study with PBDE concentrations in human milk collected in 2002–2003 from the same region. PBDEs were detected in all matrices and the median concentrations of BDEs -47 and -209 in human milk, air and dust were: 4.2 and 0.3 ng/g lipid; 25 and 7.8 pg/m3; and 56 and 291 ng/g dust, respectively. Significant correlations were observed between the concentrations of BDE-99 in air and human milk (r = 0.661, p = 0.038) and BDE-153 in dust and BDE-183 in human milk (r = 0.697, p = 0.025). These correlations do not suggest causal relationships — there is no hypothesis that can be offered to explain why BDE-153 in dust and BDE-183 in milk are correlated. The fact that so few correlations were found in the data could be a function of the small sample size, or because additional factors, such as sources of exposure not considered or measured in the study, might be important in explaining exposure to PBDEs. There was a slight decrease in PBDE concentrations from 2002–2003 to 2007–2008 but this may be due to sampling and analytical differences. Overall, average PBDE concentrations from these individual samples were similar to results from pooled human milk collected in Brisbane in 2002–2003 indicating that pooling may be an efficient, cost-effective strategy of assessing PBDE concentrations on a population basis. The results of this study were used to estimate an infant's daily PBDE intake via inhalation, dust ingestion and human milk consumption. Differences in PBDE intake of individual congeners from the different matrices were observed. Specifically, as the level of bromination increased, the contribution of PBDE intake decreased via human milk and increased via dust. As the impacts of the ban of the lower brominated (penta- and octa-BDE) products become evident, an increased use of the higher brominated deca-BDE product may result in dust making a greater contribution to infant exposure than it does currently. To better understand human body burden, further research is required into the sources and exposure pathways of PBDEs and metabolic differences influencing an individual's response to exposure. In addition, temporal trend analysis is necessary with continued monitoring of PBDEs in the human population as well as in the suggested exposure matrices of food, dust and air.
Formatted abstract
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are lipophilic, persistent pollutants found worldwide in environmental and human samples. Exposure pathways for PBDEs remain unclear but may include food, air and dust. The aim of this study was to conduct an integrated assessment of PBDE exposure and human body burden using 10 matched samples of human milk, indoor air and dust collected in 2007–2008 in Brisbane, Australia. In addition, temporal analysis was investigated comparing the results of the current study with PBDE concentrations in human milk collected in 2002–2003 from the same region.

PBDEs were detected in all matrices and the median concentrations of BDEs -47 and -209 in human milk, air and dust were: 4.2 and 0.3 ng/g lipid; 25 and 7.8 pg/m3; and 56 and 291 ng/g dust, respectively. Significant correlations were observed between the concentrations of BDE-99 in air and human milk (r = 0.661, p = 0.038) and BDE-153 in dust and BDE-183 in human milk (r = 0.697, p = 0.025). These correlations do not suggest causal relationships — there is no hypothesis that can be offered to explain why BDE-153 in dust and BDE-183 in milk are correlated. The fact that so few correlations were found in the data could be a function of the small sample size, or because additional factors, such as sources of exposure not considered or measured in the study, might be important in explaining exposure to PBDEs. There was a slight decrease in PBDE concentrations from 2002–2003 to 2007–2008 but this may be due to sampling and analytical differences. Overall, average PBDE concentrations from these individual samples were similar to results from pooled human milk collected in Brisbane in 2002–2003 indicating that pooling may be an efficient, cost-effective strategy of assessing PBDE concentrations on a population basis.

The results of this study were used to estimate an infant's daily PBDE intake via inhalation, dust ingestion and human milk consumption. Differences in PBDE intake of individual congeners from the different matrices were observed. Specifically, as the level of bromination increased, the contribution of PBDE intake decreased via human milk and increased via dust. As the impacts of the ban of the lower brominated (penta- and octa-BDE) products become evident, an increased use of the higher brominated deca-BDE product may result in dust making a greater contribution to infant exposure than it does currently.

To better understand human body burden, further research is required into the sources and exposure pathways of PBDEs and metabolic differences influencing an individual's response to exposure. In addition, temporal trend analysis is necessary with continued monitoring of PBDEs in the human population as well as in the suggested exposure matrices of food, dust and air.
Keyword PBDEs
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
Human milk
Air
Dust
Intake
Exposure
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Wed, 17 Jun 2009, 23:51:14 EST by Mrs Leisa-maree Toms on behalf of National Res Centre For Environmental Toxicology