Preliminary Assessment of U.K. Human Dietary and Inhalation Exposure to Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers

Stuart Harrad, R Wijesekera, Stuart Hunter, Chris Halliwell, Robert Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Citations (Scopus)


This study reports concentrations of BDEs 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154 in outdoor air [median SigmaPBDE (sum of BDEs 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154) = 18 pig m(-3)] in air from a range of office and home indoor microenvironments (median SigmaPBDE = 762 pg m-3) and vegan and omnivorous duplicate diet samples (median SigmaPBDE = 154 and 181 pg g(-1) dry weight for vegan and omnivorous diets, respectively). Median daily human exposure to SigmaPBDE via inhalation is 6.9 ng/person and 90.5 ng/person via diet but the relative significance of these pathways may vary considerably between individuals. Median concentrations in indoor air were higher in workplace (SigmaPBDE = 1082 pg m-3) than in domestic (SigmaPBDE = 128 pg m(-3)) microenvironments, and substantial differences in concentrations in air from different rooms in the same office building were found. When data from the only mechanically ventilated room was excluded, a significant positive correlation (p <0.001) was observed between PBDE concentrations and both the number of electrical appliances and polyurethane foam-containing chairs. Concentrations of &USigma;PBDE and BDEs 47 and 99 were significantly higher (p <0.1) in omnivorous diet samples than in vegan diet samples, implying that while plant-based foods contribute appreciably, higher exposure occurs via ingestion of animal-based comestibles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2345-2350
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


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