Insights into PBDE uptake, body burden, and elimination gained from Australian age–Concentration trends observed shortly after peak exposure

Gyalpo, Tenzing, Toms, Leisa-Maree, Mueller, Jochen F., Harden, Fiona A., Scheringer, Martin, & Hungerbuhler, Konrad (2015) Insights into PBDE uptake, body burden, and elimination gained from Australian age–Concentration trends observed shortly after peak exposure. Environmental Health Perspectives, 123(10), pp. 978-984.

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Population pharmacokinetic models combined with multiple sets of age– concentration biomonitoring data facilitate back-calculation of chemical uptake rates from biomonitoring data.


We back-calculated uptake rates of PBDEs for the Australian population from multiple biomonitoring surveys (top-down) and compared them with uptake rates calculated from dietary intake estimates of PBDEs and PBDE concentrations in dust (bottom-up).


Using three sets of PBDE elimination half-lives, we applied a population pharmacokinetic model to the PBDE biomonitoring data measured between 2002–2003 and 2010–2011 to derive the top-down uptake rates of four key PBDE congeners and six age groups. For the bottom-up approach, we used PBDE concentrations measured around 2005.


Top-down uptake rates of Σ4BDE (the sum of BDEs 47, 99, 100, and 153) varied from 7.9 to 19 ng/kg/day for toddlers and from 1.2 to 3.0 ng/kg/day for adults; in most cases, they were—for all age groups—higher than the bottom-up uptake rates. The discrepancy was largest for toddlers with factors up to 7–15 depending on the congener. Despite different elimination half-lives of the four congeners, the age–concentration trends showed no increase in concentration with age and were similar for all congeners.


In the bottom-up approach, PBDE uptake is underestimated; currently known pathways are not sufficient to explain measured PBDE concentrations, especially in young children. Although PBDE exposure of toddlers has declined in the past years, pre- and postnatal exposure to PBDEs has remained almost constant because the mothers’ PBDE body burden has not yet decreased substantially.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 92537
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: polybrominated diphenyl ethers, biological monitoring, environmental exposure, environmental impact assessment
DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1408960
ISSN: 1552-9924
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200) > Environmental Monitoring (050206)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015
Copyright Statement: Reproduced with permission from Environmental Health Perspectives
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2016 05:13
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2016 22:56

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