Perinatal Exposure to Brominated Flame Retardants and Polychlorinated Biphenyls in Japan

Kawashiro,Y.; Fukata,H.; Inoue, M.; Kubonoya, K.; Takigami, H.; Sakai,S. (2008) Endocrine Journal, 55(6): 1071-1084

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are used to prevent combustion in consumer products. Examples of BFRs are polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), and tribromophenol (TBP). These compounds are reported to have adverse effects on human health and endocrine disrupting effects. The purpose of this study was to identify the Japanese perinatal exposure to PBDEs, hydroxylated PBDE metabolites (OH-PBDEs), TBBPA, and TBP compared with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hydroxylated PCB metabolites (OH-PCBs). We investigated the concentrations of these compounds in maternal blood, maternal milk, cord blood, and umbilical cords from 16 Japanese mother-infant pairs by HRGC/HRMS. PBDEs were detected in all samples of maternal blood (mean+/-SD; median=25+/-23 pg/g; 18 pg/g wet weight), maternal milk (140+/-220 pg/g; 59 pg/g wet weight), cord blood (4.8+/-6.5 pg/g; 1.6 pg/g wet weight), and umbilical cords (3.1+/-3.1 pg/g; 2.1 pg/g wet weight). The mothers were divided into two groups, a high-concentration group and a low-concentration group. The percentage of BDE-47 showed the greatest difference between the two groups. 6-OH-BDE-47, TBBPA, and TBP were detected in all umbilical cord samples (mean+/-SD; median=8.4+/-8.1 pg/g; 8.0 pg/g, 16+/-5.5 pg/g; 15 pg/g, and 33+/-8.2 pg/g; 32 pg/g wet weight respectively), but not in all maternal blood or cord blood samples. These results indicate that OH-PBDEs, TBBPA, and TBP, in addition to PBDEs, PCBs, and OH-PCBs, pass through the blood-placenta barrier and are retained in the umbilical cord


Brominated flame retardants(BFRs); Polybrominated diphenyl ethers(PBDEs); Polychlorinated biphenyls(PCBs); Halogenated phenolic compounds; Fetal exposure