Risk Characterization and Benefit-Risk Assessment of Brominated Flame Retardant in Commercially Exploited Freshwater Fishes and Crayfish of Lake Trasimeno, Italy

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug 19;18(16):8763. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18168763.


Among brominated flame retardants (BFRs), polybrominateddiphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) were the most widely used in past decades. BFRs not being chemically bonded to polymers means they can easily leach from the products into the environment and bioaccumulate. Humans are exposed to flame retardants mainly through food consumption, especially fish and fish products. In the present study, the occurrence of PBDEs and HBCDs in freshwater fishes and crayfish from Lake Trasimeno (Umbria region, central Italy) was assessed according to monitoring plans recommended by European competent authorities. The dietary exposure of the central Italian population to such molecules was calculated, and the risk characterization and the benefit-risk evaluation were also assessed. A total of 90 samples were analyzed by means of gas and liquid chromatography associated with triple quadrupole mass spectroscopy. A total of 51% of samples were found positive for at least one of the congeners; the most frequently found molecule was BDE-47. The data on dietary exposure ranged from 0.138 to 1.113 pg/kg body weight/day for ∑PBDE and from 0.805 to 0.868 pg/kg body weight/day for ∑HBCD. The data show no health risks for the central Italian population consuming freshwater fish products from Lake Trasimeno in relation to exposure to PBDE and HBCD.

Keywords: MOE; benefit characterization; benefit–risk assessment; exposure assessment; fish products; flame retardants; freshwater fish; risk characterization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astacoidea
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Fishes
  • Flame Retardants* / analysis
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Lakes
  • Risk Assessment


  • Flame Retardants