Hydroxylated and methoxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers in blood plasma of humans in Hong Kong

Hong Sheng Wang*, Zhuo Jia Chen, Ka Lok Ho, Li Chen Ge, Jun Du, Michael Hon Wah Lam, John P. Giesy, Ming Hung WONG, Chris K C WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Hydroxylated (OH-) and methoxylated (MeO-) polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) are suspected endocrine disruptors. Little is known about the accumulation or sources of these chemicals in tissues of humans, particularly those residing in Hong Kong, which is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Seven MeO-BDEs, fifteen OH-BDEs and three bromophenols (BRPs) were analyzed in blood plasma of 116 humans that had been collected by the Hong Kong Red Cross. Total concentrations of MeO-BDEs, OH-BDEs and BRPs ranged from 3.8×102 to 52×103pgg-1 lipid (median 4.5×103pgg-1), 5.3 to 4.9×102pgg-1 lipid (81pgg-1) and ND to 1.1×102pgg-1 lipid (3.7pgg-1), respectively. 3-MeO-BDE-47, 6-OH-BDE-47 and 2, 4, 5-TBP were the predominant MeO-BDEs, OH-BDEs and BRPs, respectively. These results are consistent with accumulation of MeO-BDEs, OH-BDEs and BRPs in human plasma being primarily from natural products and inter-conversion of natural products. Coefficients of determination for some pairs of congeners such as 3-OH-BDE-100 and 6-OH-BDE-47, 6-OH-BDE-85 and 5'-OH-BDE-99, and 2, 4-DBP and 6-OH-BDE-85, were near 1.0, which is consistent with them having common sources. Patterns of relative concentrations of the target analytes were similar in the diet, particularly fish, as in blood plasma of humans, which suggests that the diet and particularly seafood might be a source of these compounds and PBDEs. Furthermore, biotransformation of natural chemicals such as OH-BDEs to BRPs might be the primary route of their elimination from humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironment International
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Science(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Asia
  • Bromophenols
  • Diet
  • Natural products
  • PBDE
  • Sources


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