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J Hazard Mater. 2013 Oct 15;261:253-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.07.033. Epub 2013 Jul 24.

Concentrations and congener profiles of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in blood plasma from Hong Kong: implications for sources and exposure route.

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Department of Microbial and Biochemical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, No. 132 Waihuandong Road, University Town, Guangzhou 510006, PR China; State Key Laboratory in Marine Pollution-Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:


There was limited information about bioaccumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in humans of the general population of Hong Kong. Therefore, the present study was conducted to determine concentrations and congener profiles of PBDEs in blood plasma from Hong Kong, evaluate their sources and correlations with other organobrominated compounds, and investigate exposure routes from fish and dust. Concentrations of ∑PBDE22 ranged from 0.56 to 92 ng g(-1), lipid weight (lw), with a median of 5.4 ng g(-1). BDE-47 was the dominant congener, accounting for 26% of ∑PBDE22. Concentrations of PBDE congeners in market fish were significantly (r(2)=0.89, p<0.001) correlated with plasma. Positive but no significant correlations were observed, between concentrations of PBDE congeners in indoor dust from workplaces (r(2)=0.46, p=0.081) and homes (r(2)=0.49, p=0.10), with concentrations of PBDE in human blood plasma. The results indicated that dietary exposure, particularly consumption of fish, is a major pathway through which people in Hong Kong are exposed to PBDEs. Furthermore, our data revealed a spatial distribution and terrestrial source of BDE-28 for local people. Results of the present study, which was the first systematic study to investigate concentrations of PBDEs in blood of Hong Kong people, provides useful information to which future measurements can be compared.


Bioaccumulation; Dust; Fish; PBDEs; Plasma

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