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Chemosphere. 2011 Oct;85(3):487-93. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.08.008. Epub 2011 Sep 3.

Monitoring of PBDEs concentration in umbilical cord blood and breast milk from Korean population and estimating the effects of various parameters on accumulation in humans.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Pusan National University, San 30, Jangjeon-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan 609-735, Republic of Korea.


In this study, we investigated concentration, congener distribution pattern, and effects of potential environmental factors that affect PBDE accumulation. We also estimated correlation between PBDE concentration and health status or thyroid function by analyzing 90 cord blood and 21 breast milk samples obtained from Korean population. Seven from tri- to hepta-BDEs were analyzed by solid phase extraction-high-resolution gas chromatography/high-resolution mass spectrometry (SPE-HRGC/HRMS). The total concentration of 7 PBDEs in cord blood was 2.786-94.64 ng g(-1) lipid and that in breast milk was 1.076-8.664 ng g(-1) lipid. Tetra-BDE (#47) was the predominant type of PBDE and was present at concentrations of over 40% in both sample types. A weak correlation was observed between the concentration of BDE28 and 153 and thyroid hormone concentration only in the breast milk samples. In children, a weak negative correlation was observed between free thyroxine (FT4) concentration and BDE28 concentration (0.302, p<0.05), while in mothers, a weak positive correlation was observed between thyroid hormone concentration and BDE153 concentration (0.403, p<0.05). No significant correlations between PBDE concentration and work and residential environments were found in this study, but a weak correlation between BDE concentration in cord blood and potential PBDE sources was confirmed by investigating the frequency of oil paint usage (0.510, p<0.001). A weak correlation was also found between PBDE concentration in breast milk during pregnancy and dietary habits such as green tea drinking (0.541, p=0.025) and Trichiuridae intake (0.565, p=0.015).

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