Member's Area - Login/Register

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in humans - sources and exposure

Paper Topic: 

Pages :
99 - 108

Kalantzi O.I. and Siskos P.
Paper ID: 
Paper Status: 

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of widely used flame retardants that are
incorporated into a wide range of consumer products such as household appliances, plastics,
textiles and computers, to prevent fire. They were first introduced in the environment in the 1970s
and their concentrations have been increasing ever since. Their persistence in the environment,
widespread distribution and bioaccumulation in humans and wildlife has rendered them chemicals of
The main route of entry of these chemicals into the human body is via the food web, but
occupational exposure may also occur in the workplace during handling, repair and dismantling of
flame retarded goods. Inhalation of indoor air and dermal uptake may also be another important
route of entry of PBDEs into humans.
PBDEs structural similarities to better known and studied chemicals like PCBs, are causes for
concern. Individual PBDE congeners have been associated with neurotoxic effects following
neonatal exposure in animals and effects on thyroid hormone function. PBDEs have also been
associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans, teratogenicity and fetal toxicity. There are still
many toxicity gaps, including their carcinogenic potential and human health effects.
This paper reviews the sources and exposure of humans to PBDEs, highlighting recent scientific

polybrominated diphenyl ethers, environmental levels, human exposure, sources