Flemish Government, Belgium
Flemish Government, Belgium

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Roosens L.,University of Antwerp | Cornelis C.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | D'Hollander W.,University of Antwerp | Bervoets L.,University of Antwerp | And 5 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2010

Human exposure to brominated flame retardants (BFRs) varies widely throughout the world as it depends on country-related usage, production and legislation of these chemicals. US and UK exposure assessments show very diverse levels and patterns which in turn, are likely to differ from those in background exposed countries such as Belgium, where levels tend to be about an order of magnitude lower. The current study assessed human exposure to BFRs through the indoor and outdoor environment (e.g. dust, soil, and air) and food for all age groups in Flanders, Belgium. Most relevant food groups were identified based on a national food consumption survey and food items with Flemish origin were collected. Dust samples were collected using a standardized protocol in 43 homes and 10 offices throughout Flanders. Food, human milk and dust samples were analysed for their polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE) and hexabromocyclodecane (HBCD) content using GC/MS and LC/MS-MS. An exposure model was developed including all analysed data, complemented with literature data. The model covered human exposure of infants, children and adults through human milk, food, dust/soil ingestion and air inhalation. Total human exposure was compared to the existing toxicological criteria and previous exposure estimates. In general, the exposure levels through human milk are consistent with those of a background exposed European population, whereas dust and food intake are at the low end of what has been reported in previous European intake assessments. Total average intake of ΣHBCD and ΣBDE5 at 50th percentile (P50) levels by newborns equals 3.1 and 12.0ng/kg body weight (bw) day, respectively. This intake increases to 15.2 and 20.9ng/kgbwday for ΣHBCD and ΣBDE5, for higher exposed newborns (95th percentile=P95 levels). Due to the limited database on health-based limit values for PBDEs and HBCD, it is difficult to assess the immediate health concern for any of the age groups, although the higher intake of newborns indicates the need for ongoing monitoring. For median exposed individuals, the average ΣHBCD intake peaked at the age 3 to 6years with an intake of 6.59ng/kgbwday and declines to ~1ng/kgbwday at later ageΣBDE5 intake exhibited a different profile compared to ΣHBCD with maximal levels for newborns and a decline to ~0.7ng/kgbwday at adulthood. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Roosens L.,University of Antwerp | D'Hollander W.,University of Antwerp | Bervoets L.,University of Antwerp | Reynders H.,Environment and Health Unit | And 5 more authors.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2010

We assessed the exposure of the Flemish population to brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) by analysis of pooled cord blood, adolescent and adult serum, and human milk. Levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in blood (range 1.6-6.5 ng/g lipid weight, lw) and milk (range 2.0-6.4 ng/g lw) agreed with European data. Hexabromocyclododecane ranged between <2.1-5.7 ng/g lw in milk. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) dominated in blood and ranged between 1 and 171 ng/mL and <0.9-9.5 ng/mL, respectively. Total PFC levels in milk ranged between <0.5-29 ng/mL. A significant increase in PBDE concentrations was detected from newborns (median 2.1) to the adolescents and adults (medians 3.8 and 4.6 ng/g lw, respectively). An identical trend was observed for PFOS, but not for PFOA. We estimated that newborn exposure to BFRs and PFCs occurs predominantly post-natally, whereas placental transfer has a minor impact on the body burden. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Cornelis C.,Flemish Institute for Technological Research | D'Hollander W.,University of Antwerp | Roosens L.,University of Antwerp | Covaci A.,University of Antwerp | And 6 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2012

With the objective to evaluate exposure of the population in Flanders (Belgium) to perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), we measured perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in settled dust in homes and offices, in a selection of food items from local origin, in drinking-water and in human serum. We complemented the data with results from a literature survey. Based on this dataset we calculated intake by children and adults from food, drinking-water, settled dust and soil, and air. Dietary exposure dominated overall intake. For adults, average dietary intake equalled 24.2 (P95 40.9) ng PFOS kg -1d -1 and 6.1 (P95 9.6) ng PFOA kg -1d -1, whereas for children the dietary intake was about 3 times higher. Predicted intake is high when compared to assessments in other countries, and to serum levels from Flanders, but comparable to the intakes published by The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2008. Intake of PFOS and PFOA remained below the Tolerable Daily Intake. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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