Study of the toxic effects of flame retardant PBDE-47 on the clam Chamelea gallina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Vet Ital. 2013 Jan-Mar;49(1):69-77.


The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effects of 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenylether (PBDE-47) on the Chamelea gallina clam (according to current commercial regulations: Venus gallina). PBDEs, which are used as flame retardants in various industrial products, are classed as hazardous substances by Directive 2011/65/EU. They are bioaccumulative compounds, considered to be endocrine disruptors, genotoxic, neurotoxic and practically ubiquitous, and their concentration in the environment has considerably increased in recent years. The aim of this study is to establish the effects of PBDE-47 on Chamelea gallina: toxic power and any harmful effects on the gonads, bioaccumulation capacity in the tissues, and possible entry into the food chain. The research used 96-hour and 21-day experimental tests on clams housed in filtered seawater. The tests were preceded by a period of acclimatisation of the molluscs lasting five to seven days. The clams were fed on seaweed (Dunaliella tertiolecta). The choice of the toxic compound PBDE-47 was based on the high concentration, among the congeners of PBDE, found in some aquatic species. The study demonstrated that the concentration of the contaminant used did not alter the vital functions, cause significant levels of mortality or lead to evident alteration in the gonads of Chamelea gallina. However, the research demonstrated the bioaccumulation capacity of the bivalve mollusc, allowing PBDE-47 to enter the food chain.

Keywords: Bioaccumulation; Chamelea gallina; Clam; Flame retardant; Food chain; Norovirus; PBDE-47; Venus gallina.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bivalvia / drug effects*
  • Flame Retardants / toxicity*
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers / toxicity*


  • Flame Retardants
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether