Uptake, Accumulation, and Biomarkers of PM2.5-Associated Organophosphate Flame Retardants in C57BL/6 Mice after Chronic Exposure at Real Environmental Concentrations

Min Chen, Xiaoliang Liao, Shi Chao Yan, Yanpeng Gao, Chun Yang, Yuanyuan Song, Yi Liu, Weiquan Li, Suk Ying Tsang, Zhi Feng Chen, Zenghua Qi*, Zongwei CAI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Although the bioaccumulation of organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) in aquatic organisms has been investigated, little information is available about their bioaccumulation in mammals following chronic inhalation exposure. To address this knowledge gap, C57BL/6 mice were exposed to 7 PM2.5-associated OPFRs via the trachea to study their bioaccumulation, tissue distribution, and urinary metabolites. Low (corresponding to the real PM2.5 concentrations occurring during winter in Guangzhou), medium, and high dosages were examined. After 72 days' exposure, â'OPFR concentrations in tissues from mice in the medium dosage group decreased in the order of intestine > heart > stomach > testis > kidney > spleen > brain > liver > lung > muscle. Of the OPFRs detected in all three exposure groups, chlorinated alkyl OPFRs were most heavily accumulated in mice. We found a significant positive correlation between the bioaccumulation ratio and octanol-air partition coefficient (KOA) in mice tissues for low logâ»KOW OPFR congeners (logâ»KOW ≤ 4, p < 0.05). Three urinary metabolites (di-p-cresyl phosphate: DCrP, diphenyl phosphate: DPhP, dibutyl phosphate: DnBP) were detected from the high dosage group. These results provide important insights into the bioaccumulation potential of OPFRs in mammals and emphasize the health risk of chlorinated alkyl OPFRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9519-9528
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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