Association between Thyroid Function and Exposures to Brominated and Organophosphate Flame Retardants in Rural Central Appalachia

Environ Sci Technol. 2020 Jan 7;54(1):325-334. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b04892. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

Abstract

Exposure to flame retardants (FRs) is associated with adverse effects on human health. Focusing on three FR groups, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organophosphate FRs (OPFRs), and novel brominated FRs (nBFRs), we determined the levels of these chemicals in indoor air in homes in rural Central Appalachia using passive air samplers and personal exposures in the residents of these homes using silicone wristbands. We also investigated the relationships between the FR levels in wristbands and the thyroid function. The median total concentrations of PBDEs, OPFRs, and nBFRs were 210, 25 000, and 69 pg/m3 in indoor air, and 49, 670, and 110 ng/g in wristbands, respectively. The most abundant chemicals in both air and wristbands were BDE-47 and -99 among PBDEs, tris[(2R)-1-chloro-2-propyl] phosphate among OPFRs, and 2-ethylhexyl 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate and bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate among nBFRs. In gender-specific regression models that were controlled for age and smoking, significant associations were observed between BDE-99, BDE-197, and 2-ethylhexyldiphenyl phosphate (EHDP) and free thyroxine (FT4), between BDE-100 and free triiodothyronine (FT3), and between anti-Dechlorane Plus (DP) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). In particular, most penta-BDE congeners were significantly or marginally significantly associated with FT4 and FT3 for both females and males. Our results suggest that wristbands can be used as suitable exposure monitors for evaluating human exposure to FRs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor*
  • Appalachian Region
  • Dust
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Flame Retardants*
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organophosphates
  • Thyroid Gland

Substances

  • Dust
  • Flame Retardants
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Organophosphates