Dietary intake of PBDEs of residents at two major electronic waste recycling sites in China

Sci Total Environ. 2013 Oct 1;463-464:1138-46. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.06.093. Epub 2012 Jul 21.


The dietary intake of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) of local residents from 2 major electronic waste (e-waste) processing sites (Guiyu, Guangdong Province and Taizhou, Zhejiang Province) in China was investigated. Seventy-four food items were collected from these sites, divided into 9 food groups (freshwater fish, marine fish, shellfish, pork, poultry, chicken offal, egg, vegetables and cereals), and examined for residual PBDE concentrations. Out of all food items examined, the freshwater bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) contained extremely high (11,400±254 ng/g wet wt.) concentrations of PBDE, the highest concentrations amongst published data concerning PBDE detected in freshwater fish. Food consumption data obtained through semi-quantitative food intake questionnaires showed that Guiyu residents had a PBDE dietary intake of 931±772 ng/kg bw/day, of which BDE-47 (584 ng/kg bw/day) exceeded the US EPA's reference dose (100 ng/kg/day). Taizhou (44.7±26.3 ng/kg bw/day) and Lin'an (1.94±0.86 ng/kg bw/day) residents exhibited lower readings. The main dietary source of PBDEs in Guiyu and Taizhou residents was seafood (88-98%) and pork (41%) in Lin'an. The present results indicated that health risks arising from PBDE dietary exposure are of significance in terms of public health and food safety to local residents of e-waste processing sites.

Keywords: China; Diet study; Electronic waste (e-waste); Food safety; PBDE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Electrical Equipment and Supplies / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Environmental Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
  • Food Contamination / analysis
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / adverse effects
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Recycling*
  • Refuse Disposal / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Assessment
  • Waste Disposal Facilities*


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • pentabromodiphenyl ether