Bioavailability of non-aromatic brominated flame retardants in rats from dust and oil vehicles

Environ Res. 2023 Feb 1:218:114853. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.114853. Epub 2022 Nov 17.


Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is a brominated flame retardant (BFR) labeled by the Stockholm Convention as a persistent organic pollutant (POP) and exists primarily as three stereoisomers, i.e. α-, β-, and γ. One of the major routes of human exposure to HBCD is dust found in homes, offices, and cars and dust may be the most important route of HBCD exposure in young children. A study was conducted to determine the oral bioavailability of HBCD from household dust in rats over a 21-d feeding period relative to HBCD bioavailability from a corn oil matrix. Twenty-four hours after the last exposure, rats were sacrificed, and various tissues were collected. HBCD diastereomers were detected in adipose, blood, and liver of both dose groups, suggesting HBCD is bioavailable from both oil and dust. β-HBCD concentrations were below the limit of detection in all tissues, but α-HBCD was detected in the brain of oil-dose rats and in adipose and liver of both dose groups. γ-HBCD was the dominant diastereomer in adipose, blood, and liver samples regardless of dosing matrix. Except for γ-HBCD in muscle of the oil-dosed group, muscle did not contain measurable HBCDs. Adipose tissue accumulated HBCD to a greater extent than muscle or liver, having bioaccumulation factors greater than 1.

Keywords: Brominated flame retardant; Disposition; Dust exposure; HBCD; Rat; Relative bioavailability.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dust
  • Flame Retardants*
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated*
  • Rats


  • Flame Retardants
  • Dust
  • hexabromocyclododecane
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated