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Polybrominated diphenyl ethers: plasma levels and thyroid status of workers at an electronic recycling facility
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences. (MTM)
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences. (MTM)
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.
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2005 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 78, no 7, p. 584-592Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: Personnel working with electronic dismantling are exposed to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which in animal studies have been shown to alter thyroid homeostasis. The aim of this longitudinal study was to measure plasma level of PBDEs in workers at an electronic recycling facility and to relate these to the workers’ thyroid status. Methods: PBDEs and three thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxin (T4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were repeatedly analysed in plasma from 11 workers during a period of 1.5 years.Results: Plasma levels of PBDEs at start of employment were <0.5–9.1 pmol/g lipid weight (l.w.). The most common congener was PBDE #47 (median 2.8 pmol/g l.w.), followed by PBDE #153 (median 1.7 pmol/g l.w.), and PBDE #183 had a median value of <0.19 pmol/g l.w. After dismantling the corresponding median concentrations were: 3.7, 1.7 and 1.2 pmol/g l.w., respectively. These differences in PBDE levels were not statistically significant. PBDE #28 showed a statistically significantly higher concentration after dismantling than at start of employment (P=0.016), although at low concentrations (start 0.11 pmol/g l.w. and dismantling 0.26 pmol/g l.w.). All measured levels of thyroid hormones (T3, T4 and TSH) were within the normal physiological range. Statistically significant positive correlations were found between T3 and #183 in a worker, between T4 and both #28 and #100 in another worker and also between TSH and #99 and #154 in two workers. Conclusions: The workers’ plasma levels of PBDEs fluctuated during the study period. Due to small changes in thyroid hormone levels it was concluded that no relevant changes were present in relation to PBDE exposure within the workers participating in this study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 78, no 7, p. 584-592
National Category
Environmental Sciences Chemical Sciences
Research subject
Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3144DOI: 10.1007/s00420-005-0627-5PubMedID: 15902483OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-3144DiVA, id: diva2:137131
Available from: 2006-10-13 Created: 2006-10-13 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Levels of brominated flame retardants in humans and their environment: occupational and home exposure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Levels of brominated flame retardants in humans and their environment: occupational and home exposure
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Plasma from workers at an electronic dismantling plant were analysed for tri- to heptaBDEs (brominated diphenyl ethers), during 18 months. The different exposed groups showed concentrations ranging from 0.06to 2.8 ng g-1 (l.w.). Only BDE #153 and #183 showed elevated levels compared to the general population in Sweden. The levels in the workers were approximately one order of magnitude higher. No clear trend of increased BDE levels was seen during the study period, nor was there a reduction of the plasma concentration during and after the vacation.

Air levels of tri- to decaBDEs, BTBPE (1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)-ethane) and DeBDethane (1,2-bis(pentabromophenyl)ethane) ranging from 0.082 to 370 ng m-3 were determined at the same electronic dismantling facility. A comparison was made to the levels reported in this facility before an increase of the production volume. The levels of tri- to hexaBDEs, the main compounds in the commercial PentaBDE mixture, were very similar 2001-02 and 2005. Hepta- to decaBDEs, which are the main components in the Octa- and DecaBDE mixtures, were about three to five times higher in 2005 than in 2001-02. The mean level for BTBPE was two times higher 2001-02 while the concentration of DeBDethane measured 73 times higher 2005.

Levels of tri- to decaBDEs, BTBPE and DeBDethane were also determined in air, dust and human plasma from households. The levels of the individual BDEs in the plasma samples varied between <0.41 ng g-1 (l.w.) to 17 ng g-1 (l.w). BDE #28 and #47 were present in all air samples, with mean values of 0.015 and 0.12 ng m-3, respectively. BDE #209 was only found in one air sample at a concentration above the detection limit. DeBDethane was detected in only one sample, at a level of 0.023 ng m-3. All the analytes were found in the dust samples at levels ranging from 0.51 to 1600 ng g-1, the highest concentrations were found for BDE #209. DeBDethane was among the most abundant BFRs in the dust at a mean concentration of 47 ng g-1. The concentrations of the sumBDE showed a positive relationship in dust and plasma.

Eggs from Northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) in the Faroe Islands were sampled for BFRs to establish the levels in remote regions. . The content of tri- to heptaBDEs, BDE #209 and BTBPE were determined in nine samples in concentrations ranging from non-detectable (< 0.02 ng g−1 l.w.) to 7 ng g−1(l.w.). BTBPE was detected in eight samples at a mean level of 0.11 ng g−1 (l.w).

All work included substantial method development and adaption of existing methods. Validation of a solid phase extraction (SPE) method to analyse tri- to heptabrominated diphenyl ethers in human plasma was performed. The SPE extraction method was found to be faster and less solvent- and sample-demanding, compared to the previously used open column extraction based method.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2006. p. 75
Series
Örebro Studies in Chemistry, ISSN 1651-4270 ; 7
Keywords
PBDE, BTBPE, DeBDethane, plasma, air, dust, Northern fulmar, egg, household, occupational exposure
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Research subject
Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-694 (URN)91-7668-499-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-11-03, Hörsal P1, Prismahuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-10-13 Created: 2006-10-13 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Julander, AnneliKarlsson, MarieEngwall, MagnusWestberg, Håkanvan Bavel, Bert

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