Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Chemicals and Children's Health
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of flame retardants used in textiles, furniture, and electronic products. Recent studies have documented widespread PBDE exposure to humans, with higher levels measured in children than adults.
As part of the Center for Children's Environmental Health Research at UC Berkeley (CHAMACOS study), we analyzed PBDE levels in blood collected from 7-year old Mexican-American children living in California (n = 264), and 5-year old children living in areas of Mexico where the CHAMACOS mothers originated (n = 286). We compared PBDE concentrations from these 2 populations to levels reported for 192 Mexican-American children (12–19 years old) participating in the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES 2003–2004).
The most frequently detected PBDE congeners in child serum were BDEs 47, 99, 100, and 153, all of which were measured in 100% of the Californian children's samples, and in more than 73% of the Mexican children's samples. Geometric mean total PBDE concentrations (Σ 4 congeners) were significantly higher among CHAMACOS children compared to the Mexican and NHANES children (GM [CI] = 83.5 ng/g lipid [76.1, 91.6] vs. 11.7 ng/g lipid [10.4, 13.1], and 59.9 ng/g lipid [52.7, 68.2], respectively; P < 0.01). Factors associated with higher PBDE levels in the CHAMACOS children were mother's country of origin, length of time residing in the United States, education, and parity. In future analyses, we will examine predictors of PBDE exposure such as diet, breastfeeding history, consumer electronics use, BMI, time outside the United States, and housing quality.
Findings suggest that Mexican-American children living in California are experiencing higher PBDE exposure from their environment compared to children sampled from the general US population and Mexico.