Emerging and legacy flame retardants in UK human milk and food suggest slow response to restrictions on use of PBDEs and HBCDD

TitleEmerging and legacy flame retardants in UK human milk and food suggest slow response to restrictions on use of PBDEs and HBCDD
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsTao F., M. Abdallah A-E, Ashworth D.C, Douglas P., Toledano M.B, Harrad S.
JournalEnvironment International
Date PublishedAug
ISBN Number0160-4120
Accession Number28525835
Keywords*Brominated flame retardants, *Diet, *Emerging flame retardants, *Human exposure, *Human milk, *Nursing infant, Adult, Body Burden, Body Weight, Data Collection, Diet, Dust/analysis, Eating, Environmental Monitoring, Female, Flame Retardants/*analysis, Food Analysis, Food/*statistics & numerical data, Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers/*analysis, Humans, Hydrocarbons, Brominated/*analysis, Infant, Milk, Human/*chemistry, United Kingdom

The legacy flame retardants (LFRs) polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), together with six emerging flame retardants (EFRs) were measured in United Kingdom (UK) human milk collected in 2010 (n=25) and 2014-15 (n=10). These data are the first report of the presence of EFRs in UK human milk. The most abundant EFR was beta-tetrabromoethylcyclohexane (DBE-DBCH) (average=2.5ng/g lw; geometric mean=1.5ng/g lw), which is comparable to the concentrations of the most abundant LFRs i.e. BDE 47 and alpha-HBCDD at 2.8 and 2.1ng/g lw, respectively (geometric mean=2.1 and 1.7). The estimated median dietary intake of SigmaEFRs by UK nursing infants was 18ng/kg bw/day. EFRs were also measured in UK foodstuffs with beta-DBE-DBCH again the predominant compound detected, accounting - on average - for 64.5+/-23.4% of SigmaEFRs. Average estimated dietary intakes of summation operatorEFRs in the UK were 89 and 26ng/day (1.3 and 2.6ng/body weight/day) for adults and toddlers, respectively. Concentrations of Sigmatri-hexa BDEs in our UK food samples exceeded those reported in UK samples from the same food categories collected in 2003-04 and 2006. Despite this and our recent report elsewhere of significant temporal declines in concentrations of BDE 209 in UK indoor dust (p<0.05) and HBCDDs in UK indoor dust and air (p<0.001), no significant temporal differences (p>0.05) were observed between concentrations of Sigmatri-hexa BDEs, BDE 209 and HBCDDs in human milk sampled in 2010 and those obtained in 2014-15. UK adult body burdens for EFRs were predicted via inhalation, diet and dust ingestion using a simple pharmacokinetic model. The predicted EFR body burdens compared well with observed concentrations in human milk.

Short TitleEnviron IntEnviron. Int.
Alternate JournalEnvironment international