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Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Feb;119(2):151-4. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1002604. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Contamination of U.S. butter with polybrominated diphenyl ethers from wrapping paper.

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  • 1University of Texas School of Public Health, Dallas, Texas 75390, USA. arnold.schecter@utsouthwestern.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Our aim was to report the first known incidence of U.S. butter contamination with extremely high levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).

METHODS:

Ten butter samples were individually analyzed for PBDEs. One of the samples and its paper wrapper contained very high levels of higher-brominated PBDEs. Dietary estimates were calculated using the 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data, excluding the elevated sample.

RESULTS:

The highly contaminated butter sample had a total upper bound PBDE level of 42,252 pg/g wet weight (ww). Levels of brominated diphenyl ether (BDE)-206, -207, and -209 were 2,000, 2,290, and 37,600 pg/g ww, respectively. Its wrapping paper contained a total upper-bound PBDE concentration of 804,751 pg/g ww, with levels of BDE-206, -207, and -209 of 51,000, 11,700, and 614,000 pg/g, respectively. Total PBDE levels in the remaining nine butter samples ranged from 180 to 1,212 pg/g, with geometric mean of 483 and median of 284 pg/g. Excluding the outlier, total PBDE daily intake from all food was 22,764 pg/day, lower than some previous U.S. dietary intake estimates.

CONCLUSION:

Higher-brominated PBDE congeners were likely transferred from contaminated wrapping paper to butter. A larger representative survey may help determine how frequently PBDE contamination occurs. Sampling at various stages in food production may identify contamination sources and reduce risk.

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PMID:
21138809
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3040599
Free PMC Article
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