Brominated flame retardants in the Australian population : 1993-2009

Toms, Leisa-Maree, Guerra, Paula, Eljarrat, Ethel, Barcelo, Damia, Harden, Fiona, Hobson, Philip A., Sjodin, Andreas, Ryan, Elizabeth, & Mueller, Jochen (2012) Brominated flame retardants in the Australian population : 1993-2009. Chemosphere, 89(4), pp. 398-403.

View at publisher


Brominated flame retardants, including hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used to reduce the flammability of a multitude of electrical and electronic products, textiles and foams. The use of selected PBDEs has ceased, however, use of decaBDE and HBCD continues. While elevated concentrations of PBDEs in humans have been observed in Australia, no data is available on other BFRs such as HBCD. This study aimed to provide background HBCD concentrations from a representative sample of the Australian population and to assess temporal trends of HBCD and compare with PBDE concentrations over a 16 year period. Samples of human milk collected in Australia from 1993 to 2009, primarily from primiparae mothers were combined into 12 pools from 1993 (2 pools); 2001; 2002/2003 (4 pools); 2003/2004; 2006; 2007/2008 (2 pools); and 2009. Concentrations of ∑HBCD ranged from not quantified (nq) to 19 ng g−1 lipid while α-HBCD and γ-HBCD ranged from nq to 10 ng g−1 lipid and nq to 9.2 ng g−1 lipid. β-HBCD was detected in only one sample at 3.6 ng g−1 lipid while ∑4PBDE ranged from 2.5 to 15.8 ng g−1 lipid. No temporal trend was apparent in HBCD concentrations in human milk collected in Australia from 1993 to 2009. In comparison, PBDE concentrations in human milk show a peak around 2002/03 (mean ∑4PBDEs = 9.6 ng g−1 lipid) and 2003/04 (12.4 ng g−1 lipid) followed by a decrease in 2007/08 (2.7 ng g−1 lipid) and 2009 (2.6 ng g−1 lipid). In human blood serum samples collected from the Australian population, PBDE concentrations did not vary greatly (p = 0.441) from 2002/03 to 2008/09. Continued monitoring including both human milk and serum for HBCD and PBDEs is required to observe trends in human body burden of HBCD and PBDEs body burden following changes to usage.

Impact and interest:

26 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
25 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 55577
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: brominated flame retardants, HBCD , Hexabromocyclododecane, PBDEs
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.05.053
ISSN: 1879-1298
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (059900) > Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified (059999)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 12 Dec 2012 04:14
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2012 05:04

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page