Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in the indoor and outdoor environments--a review on occurrence and human exposure

Environ Pollut. 2012 Oct;169:217-29. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.04.009. Epub 2012 May 9.


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) constitute an important group of brominated flame retardants that have been massively produced and extensively used in numerous everyday products, providing longer escape times in case of fire and thus saving lives, as well as reducing the damage of property. In recent years, PBDEs have been recognized as significant pollutants of the indoor environment. This article provides a synthesis and critical evaluation of the state of the knowledge about the occurrence of PBDEs in the indoor environment (air and dust in homes, workplaces and cars) in different countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, as well as about the human exposure via indoor air inhalation and dust ingestion in comparison to outdoor air inhalation and dietary intake.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / adverse effects
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / adverse effects
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Inhalation Exposure / analysis


  • Air Pollutants
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers