Brominated flame retardants and phenolic endocrine disrupters in Finnish human adipose tissue

Annika Smeds, Pekka Saukko

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    Brominated flame retardants and phenolic compounds, of which several have been shown to exhibit endocrine disrupting effects, were screened in extracts of Finnish human adipose tissue samples. The samples were collected during autopsy from 39 subjects, of which 23 were males and 16 females. The samples were homogenised and extracted, and then cleaned-up by preparative gel permeation chromatography. The phenolic compounds were determined in silylated extracts. A total of 21 individual compounds were analysed in the extracts by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HRGC-LRMS) in the selected ion monitoring mode. The most commonly occurring compounds were 4-octylphenol diethoxylate, 4,4'-dihydroxybiphenyl, and 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), but also some other alkylphenols, pentabromophenol, and 2,2',4,4',5-penta- and 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromodiphenyl ether could be detected in 1-6 samples. The concentrations were ranging from trace amounts to 71 ng/g of lipid weight. The mean concentration of BDE-47 was 1.20 ng/g lipids, however, in 15 of the samples the concentration was below the detection limit. Compared to other European studies the average concentration of BDE-47 obtained in this study is at the lower end of the reported concentrations.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)1123–1130
    Number of pages8
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2003
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • 4,4 '-dihydroxybiphenyl
    • 4-octylphenol diethoxylate
    • alkylphenols
    • environmental hormone disrupters
    • polybrominated diphenyl ethers
    • xenoestrogens

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