Concentrations and trends of halogenated flame retardants in the pooled serum of residents of Laizhou Bay, China


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The south coast of Laizhou Bay, in northeastern China, is a production area for halogenated flame retardants (HFR). In 2007, the authors measured serum concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Laizhou Bay residents. To assess the PBDE concentration trend, and determine the concentrations of the emerging flame retardants Dechlorane Plus (DP) and bis(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromophthalate (TBPH), the authors measured the concentrations of 8 PBDE congeners, 2 DP isomers, and TBPH in 10 composite samples, which were pooled from the serum collected from 305 Laizhou Bay residents in October 2011. The average concentration of the total PBDE (∑8PBDE) concentration in all serum pools was 240 ng/g lipid weight, and the highest serum pool concentration (in the 30- to 39-yr-old male group) was 780 ng/g lipid weight. Brominated diphenyl ether-209 was the dominant congener, accounting for 87% of ∑8PBDE. Compared with a previous study, ∑8PBDE serum concentrations in the present study showed no change in order of magnitude, but the relative contribution of BDE-209 to ∑8PBDE was higher. The average concentration of ∑DP in all serum pools was 3.6 ng/g lipid weight, ranging from 1.4 ng/g lipid weight (in the 50- to 59-yr-old male group) to 11 ng/g lipid weight (in the 20- to 29-yr-old male group). The concentration of DP was lower than in other reported studies. The study also detected TBPH in the 30- to 39-yr-old female group, suggesting that TBPH, as an emerging HFR, requires further monitoring. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:1242–1247. © 2013 SETAC