Polybrominated diphenyl ether levels in foodstuffs collected from three locations from the United States

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ObjectivesThe objectives of this study were to provide updated measurements of PBDEs in US food, to estimate possible difference in levels from differing geographical regions, and to provide an improved estimate of current dietary intake.MethodsThirty matched food samples for a total of 90 samples were collected from each of three cities (Los Angeles, California; Dallas, Texas; and Albany, New York) and were analyzed for 13 polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners (BDE 28, 47, 49, 66, 85, 99, 100, 138, 153, 154, 183, 203, and 209). Dietary intake of PBDEs was estimated by food type, age, and sex.ResultsIn this pilot study, we did not note a statistically significant difference in total PBDE levels in food collected from the three locations. The median total PBDE levels (estimating non-detected values as half of the detection limit) in meat, dairy, eggs, and fish were 267 pg/g wet weight (ww) (range 102–3156 pg/g ww), 176 pg/g ww (range 41–954 pg/g ww), 637 pg/g ww (range 193–932 pg/g ww), and 243 pg/g ww (range 36–2161 pg/g ww). PBDE intake from food was estimated to range from 2.7 ng/kg/day for children 2 through 5 years of age to 0.8 ng/kg/day for women aged 60 years and older. This compares closely with our previous study where the intake estimate was 2.7 ng/kg/day for children 2 through 5 years of age and 0.9 ng/kg/day for women aged 60 years and older.ConclusionWe did not find a decrease of PBDEs in food since our previous studies which we expected to find due to the declining use of PBDEs in the USA. These findings could be consistent with food contamination from depot sources of PBDEs. A larger, more representative sampling of the US food supply is indicated based on our findings.

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