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Environ Sci Technol. 2004 Apr 15;38(8):2345-50.

Preliminary assessment of U.K. human dietary and inhalation exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

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Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management, Public Health Building, School of Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, United Kingdom.


This study reports concentrations of BDEs 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154 in outdoor air [median sigmaPBDE (sum of BDEs 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154) = 18 pg m(-3)] in air from a range of office and home indoor microenvironments (median sigmaPBDE = 762 pg m(-3)) and vegan and omnivorous duplicate diet samples (median sigmaPBDE = 154 and 181 pg g(-1) dryweightforvegan and omnivorous diets, respectively). Median daily human exposure to sigmaPBDE via inhalation is 6.9 ng/person and 90.5 ng/person via diet but the relative significance of these pathways may vary considerably between individuals. Median concentrations in indoor air were higher in workplace (sigmaPBDE = 1082 pg m(-3)) than in domestic (sigmaPBDE = 128 pg m(-3)) microenvironments, and substantial differences in concentrations in air from different rooms in the same office building were found. When data from the only mechanically ventilated room was excluded, a significant positive correlation (p < 0.001) was observed between PBDE concentrations and both the number of electrical appliances and polyurethane foam-containing chairs. Concentrations of sigmaPBDE and BDEs 47 and 99 were significantly higher (p < 0.1) in omnivorous diet samples than in vegan diet samples, implying that while plant-based foods contribute appreciably, higher exposure occurs via ingestion of animal-based comestibles.

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