Food Research Division, Bureau of Chemical Safety, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, Sir Frederick Banting Research Centre, 251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway, Address Locator: 2203C, Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Pooling of surplus serum from individual samples, collected between 2007 and 2009 during Cycle 1 of the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), was performed to develop a national baseline estimate of brominated flame retardants in Canadians. Serum samples were categorized by sex and distributed by five age groups ranging from 6 to 79years. Nearly 5000 (4583) serum samples were used to form 59 composite pools. Serum pools were created to ensure a high detection frequency of these analytes in serum because low volume samples had previously resulted in non-detectable concentrations. The analytes of interest in these serum pools included 23 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and three hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) isomers (a-, ß- and ?-HBCD). PBDEs were observed in all samples tested and total PBDE concentrations ranged from 27ngg(-1) lipid to 130ngg(-1) lipid (geometric mean [GM] 46ngg(-1) lipid). ?PBDE concentrations were significantly elevated in samples representing the 6-11year old age group (GM 65ngg(-1) lipid) relative to ages above 40years, although no difference in concentration was observed between the sexes. PBDE concentrations in Canadian sera from the general population were higher than reported in Europe and Asia, but a little lower than observed in the US. PBDE 47 was the greatest contributor to ?PBDE concentrations and the GM concentration for this congener was 22ngg(-1) lipid. The other dominant contributors to ?PBDE concentrations were in descending order: 153 [GM 9.4ngg(-1) lipid]>99 [GM 4.6ngg(-1) lipid]?100 [GM 4.1ngg(-1) lipid]>209 [GM 1.1ngg(-1) lipid] and 183 [GM 0.42ngg(-1) lipid]. ?HBCD was detected in all samples analysed, although most samples were observed at concentrations
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are widely used in plastics, textile coatings, electrical appliances and printed circuit boards to prohibit the development of fires. In order to investigate how exposure to BFRs is related to specific occupations, samples were obtained from Norwegian individuals working at an electronics dismantling facility, in the production of printed circuit boards, or as laboratory personnel. Nine BFRs were quantified in the plasma samples: 2,4,4'-tribromodiphenyl ether (BDE-28), 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-99), 2,2',4,4',6-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-100), 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-153), 2,2',4,4',5,6'-hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-154), 2,2',3,4,4',5',6-heptabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-183), 2,4,6-tribromophenol (TriBP) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBP-A). The BFRs were extracted from plasma using solid-phase extraction (SPE). The plasma lipids were decomposed by treatment with concentrated sulfuric acid directly on the SPE column, prior to the elution of the BFRs. Following diazomethane derivatization, the samples were analysed by gas chromatography-electron capture mass spectrometry. The subjects working at the electronics dismantling plant had significantly higher plasma levels of TBBP-A and BDE-153 compared to the other groups, and the heptabrominated congener BDE-183 was only detected in plasma from this group. TriBP was generally the most abundant BFR present, and the plasma concentrations were in the range 0.17-81 ng g-1 lipids. BDE-47 was the dominant BDE congener in all the individual samples and the levels were in the range 0.43-14.6 ng g-1 lipids. The total amounts of the seven BDEs were 8.8, 3.9 and 3.0 ng g-1 lipids for the group of electronics dismantlers, circuit board producers and laboratory personnel, respectively. Generally, large variations in the individual concentration levels were found within the groups, especially in the group of electronics dismantlers, where the relative standard deviations for BDE concentrations were in the range 23-164%. The levels of BFRs were not correlated to age or the level of 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153). The present work indicates that the population in Norway is exposed to several BFRs, probably with food as a major source. The elevated level of higher brominated BDEs and TBBP-A in the plasma from the workers at the dismantling plant suggests an additional occupational exposure for these individuals. Thus, human exposure to BFRs seems to originate from a combination of different sources; however, further studies investigating plasma samples from a larger number of individuals are necessary for a more complete assessment of human exposure pathways to these environmental contaminants.
The limited knowledge and/or the inability to control physiological condition parameters that influence the fate of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) has been the foremost confounding aspect in monitoring programs and health risk assessments of wild top predators in the Arctic such as the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). In the present comparative study, we used a potential surrogate Canoidea species for the East Greenland polar bear, the captive sledge dog (Canis familiaris), to investigate some factors that may influence the bioaccumulation and biotransformation of major chlorinated and brominated OHCs in adipose tissue and blood (plasma) of control (fed commercial pork fat) and exposed (fed West Greenland minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) blubber) adult female sledge dogs. Furthermore, we compared the patterns and concentrations of OHCs and their known or suggested hydroxylated (OH) metabolites (e.g., OH-PCBs) in sledge dogs with those in adipose tissue and blood (plasma) of East Greenland adult female polar bears, and blubber of their main prey species, the ringed seal (Pusa hispida). The two-year feeding regime conducted with sledge dogs led to marked differences in overall adipose tissue (and plasma) OHC residue accumulation between the control and exposed groups. Characteristic prey-to-predator OHC bioaccumulation dynamics for major PCB and PBDE congeners (patterns and concentrations) and biotransformation capacity with respect to PCB metabolite formation and OH-PCB retention distinguished, to some extent, captive sledge dogs and wild polar bears. Based on the present findings, we conclude that the use of surrogate species in toxicological investigations for species in the Canoidea family should be done with great caution, although they remain essential in the context of contaminants research with sensitive arctic top carnivore species such as the polar bear.
Exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) during prenatal and postnatal life has been extensively studied in relation to adverse health effects in children.
The aim was to identify determinants of the concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, PBDEs; polybrominated biphenyl, PBB), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in blood samples from pregnant women and children in The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa).
Blood samples were collected from two independent subsamples within MoBa; a group of women (n=96) enrolled in mid-pregnancy during the years 2002-2008 and a group of 3 year old children (n=99) participating during 2010-2011. PCB congeners (74, 99, 138, 153, 180, 170, 194, 209, 105, 114, 118, 156, 157, 167, and 189), brominated flame retardants (PBDE-28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, and PBB-153), as well as the OCPs hexachlorobenzene (HCB), oxychlordane, 4,4'dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and 4,4'dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) were measured in both pregnant women and children.
Age, low parity, and low pre-pregnant BMI were the most important determinants of increased plasma concentrations of POPs in pregnant women. In 3 year old children, prolonged breastfeeding duration was a major determinant of increased POP concentrations. Estimated dietary exposure to PCBs during pregnancy was positively associated with plasma concentrations in 3 year old children, but not in pregnant women. Plasma concentrations were approximately 40% higher in children compared to pregnant women.
Several factors associated with exposure and toxicokinetics, i.e. accumulation, excretion and transfer via breastmilk of POPs were the main predictors of POP levels in pregnant women and children. Diet, which is the main exposure source for these compounds in the general population, was found to predict PCB levels only among children. For the PBDEs, for which non-dietary sources are more important, toxicokinetic factors appeared to have less predictive impact.
Lack of human exposure data is frequently reported as a critical gap in risk assessments of environmental pollutants, especially regarding "new" pollutants. The objectives of this study were to assess serum levels of the persistent 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (CB-153), hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyl metabolites (OH-PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and hexabromocyclodode-canes (HBCDDs) in a group of Swedish middle-aged and elderly women expected to be relatively highly exposed, and to evaluate the impact of potential determinants (e.g., fish intake, age) for the inter-individual variation, as well as to investigate the association between these pollutants and bone density. No associations were found between bone mineral density or biochemical markers of bone metabolism and the analyzed environmental pollutants. Relatively high levels of CB-153 (median 260 ng/g fat) and sigma 3-OH-PCBs (median 1.7 ng/mL serum), and low concentrations of sigma6PBDEs (median 3.6 ng/g fat) were determined. Total level of HBCDDs in serum was quantified by gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (median 0.5 ng/g fat). HBCDD diastereomeric and enantiomeric patterns were determined by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection. The dominating stereoisomer was (-)alpha-HBCDD, but 1-3% of gamma-HBCDD was also detected in the serum samples.
Brominated flame retardants, especially polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), have been widely used in North America, but little is known about the level of exposure of human populations to these compounds.
We set out to assess the internal exposure of postmenopausal Canadian women to selected organobromine compounds and to investigate factors associated with this exposure.
We measured concentrations of four PBDEs, one polybrominated biphenyl, and for comparative purposes, 41 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in plasma samples from 110 healthy postmenopausal women who were recruited at a mammography clinic in 2003-2004.
PBDE-47 was the major PBDE congener, with a mean (geometric) concentration of 8.1 ng/g lipids and extreme values reaching 1,780 ng/g. By comparison, the mean concentration of the major PCB congener (PCB-153) was 41.7 ng/g and the highest value was 177 ng/g. PBDEs 47, 99, and 100 were strongly intercorrelated, but weaker correlations were noted with PBDE-153. As the sum of PBDEs (summation operatorPBDEs) increased, the relative contribution of PBDE-47 to the summation operatorPBDEs increased, whereas that of PBDE-153 decreased. PBDE-153 was the only brominated compound correlated to PCB-153. PBDE levels were not linked to any sociodemographic, anthropometric, reproductive, or lifestyle variables documented in the present study. Age and body mass index gain since the age of 18 years were significant predictors of PCB-153 plasma levels.
Our results suggest that exposure to PBDE-47 likely occurs through direct contact with the penta-PBDE formulation, whereas exposure to PBDE-153 may originate in part from the food chain.
Cites: J Toxicol Environ Health A. 1999 Nov 26;58(6):329-4110580757
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Mar 1;41(5):1584-917396645
PBDEs are being released to the environment in wastes from their production facilities, degradation, or leaching and volatilization from products that contain PBDEs during the product's useful life. Brominated diphenyl ether congeners BDE-47, -99, and -153 are ubiquitous in the environment and are regarded as the most dominant congeners present in wildlife and humans. The tetra- to hexa-BDE are most likely the congeners to which humans are exposed through food consumption. Knowledge of PBDE uptake, metabolism, elimination, and enzyme induction is restricted largely to rodents (rats and mice) in vitro and in vivo. Feeding studies have shown that excretion of higher brominated BDEs is much greater than lower brominated BDEs. Penta-BDE is more toxic than octa- and deca-BDE following oral administration (oral LD50 in rats, 0.5-5 g/kg). In rodents, repeated exposure to PBDEs results in thyroid hormone disruption, developmental neurotoxicity, some changes of fetal development, and hepatotoxic effects. The observed chronic NOELs depend upon the technical mixture type (i.e., deca-, octa-, or penta- and their congener composition), animal species, and study protocol. Values range from 0.6 to 100 mg/kg in rats and from I to 100 mg/kg in mice. PBDEs are neither mutagenic nor genotoxic. Immunotoxicity in mice is observed following exposure to BDE-47 at 18 mg/kg/d, where splenocyte number decreased. Mice exposed neonatally to a single oral dose of BDE-47(10.5 mg/kg) or BDE-99 (12 mg/kg) on Pnd10 (period of rapid brain growth and development) show permanent impairment of spontaneous motor behavior when reaching adulthood. BDE-99 also induced adverse effects on learning and memory functions of mice. The estimated daily intake based on food consumption for PBDEs ranges from 44 to 51 ng/d, with fish contributing almost one-half. The BDE-99 body burden from a human milk survey can be estimated at 0.64 microg/kg, well below the experimental body burden of 0.4 mg/kg BDE-99 associated with behavioral alterations in neonatal mice. When considering the outlier value for PBDE-99 at 229 ng/g, this would result in an estimated PBDE-99 body burden of 46 microg/kg, or a MOS of only 9. However, no toxicokinetics data are available for humans, and the actual margin of safety may be much smaller if based on levels in critical target organs or tissues.