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Chemosphere. 2008 Sep;73(2):187-94. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.05.052. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) in serum: findings from a US cohort of consumers of sport-caught fish.

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Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, 1 West Wilson Street, Madison, WI 53702, USA.


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been used as flame retardants in foams, fabrics and plastics, and are common contaminants of household air and dust and bioaccumulate in wildlife, and are detectable in human tissues and in fish and animal food products. In the Great Lakes Basin sport fish consumption has been demonstrated to be an important source of PCB and DDE exposure. PBDEs are present in the same sport fish but prior to our study the contribution to human PBDE body burdens from Great Lakes sport fish consumption had not been investigated. This study was designed to assess PBDE, PCB and 1,1-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2-dichloroethene (DDE) serum concentrations in an existing cohort of 508 frequent and infrequent consumers of sport-caught fish living in five Great Lake states. BDE congeners 47 and 99 were identified in the majority of blood samples, 98% and 62% respectively. summation operatorPBDE levels were positively associated with age, hours spent outdoors, DDE, summation operatorPCB, years of sportfish consumption, and catfish and shellfish intake, and negatively associated with income and recent weight loss. Other dietary components collected were not predictive of measured summation operatorPBDE levels. In multivariate models, summation operatorPBDE levels were positively associated with age, years consuming sport fish, shellfish meals, and computer use and negatively associated with recent weight loss. Having summation operatorPBDE levels in the highest quintile was independently associated with older age, male gender, consumption of catfish and shellfish, computer use and spending less time indoors. summation operatorPCB and DDE were strongly associated suggesting common exposure routes. The association between summation operatorPBDE and summation operatorPCB or DDE was much weaker and modeling suggested more diverse PBDE sources with few identified multi-contaminant-shared exposure routes. In our cohort Great Lakes sport fish consumption does not contribute strongly to PBDE exposure.

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