Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and their hydroxylated metabolites in serum in humans in Nicaragua

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to investigate exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in a young urban population in a developing country, with focus on potentially highly exposed children working informally as scrap scavengers at a large municipal waste disposal site. We also set out to investigate whether hydroxylated metabolites, which not hitherto have been found retained in humans, could be detected.

METHODS: We assessed PBDEs in pooled serum samples obtained in 2002 from children 11-15 years of age, working and sometimes also living at the municipal waste disposal site in Managua, and in nonworking urban children. The influence of fish consumption was evaluated in the children and in groups of women 15-44 years of age who differed markedly in their fish consumption. Hydroxylated PBDEs were assessed as their methoxylated derivates. The chemical analyses were performed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, using authentic reference substances.

RESULTS: The children living and working at the waste disposal site showed very high levels of medium brominated diphenyl ethers. The levels observed in the referent children were comparable to contemporary observations in the United States. The exposure pattern was consistent with dust being the dominating source. The children with the highest PBDE levels also had the highest levels of hydroxylated metabolites.

CONCLUSIONS: Unexpectedly, very high levels of PBDEs were found in children from an urban area in a developing country. Also, for the first time, hydroxylated PBDE metabolites were found to bioaccumulate in human serum.


  • M Athanasiadou
  • S N Cuadra
  • G Marsh
  • Åke Bergman
  • Kristina Jakobsson
Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Miljömedicin och yrkesmedicin


Sidor (från-till)400-8
TidskriftEnvironmental Health Perspectives
StatusPublished - 2008
Peer review utfördJa