Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in the Korean food basket and estimation of dietary exposure

Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in the Korean food basket and estimation of dietary exposure
표희수Mandana Barghi신은수손민희최성득장윤석
HBCD; Food; Fish and shellfish; Dietary intake; Korean population
Issue Date
Environmental pollution
VOL 213, 268-277
1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is a brominated flame retardant that is used worldwide in expanded and extruded polystyrene foam and simultaneously emitted to the environment. HBCD can easily accumulate in animals and humans and cause neurotoxicity, thyroid hormone disruption, and reproductive disorders. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the HBCD concentrations in foods and estimate the human exposure through the diet. In this study a total of 521 food samples from eight food categories were sampled and analyzed for their HBCD content. Based on consumption data, the average dietary intake of the general Korean population and specific subgroups was calculated. The highest levels of HBCD were found in fish and shellfish (0.47 ng g− 1 ww), and this was attributed to natural exposure to the contaminated marine environments and the HBCD bioaccumulation. In addition, the use of expanded polystyrene buoys in aquaculture was also found to be a potential source of HBCD in bivalves. The high solubility of α-HBCD in water and the persistence of this diastereomer compared to β- and γ-HBCD in biological tissues, led to higher accumulation of α-HBCD in animal-based foods. In contrast, the diastereomeric selectivity and lower metabolic capacity in plants compared with animals led to the predominance of γ-HBCD in plant-based foods. The dietary intake of HBCD was estimated to be 0.82 ng kg− 1 bw d− 1 in the general population and 2.89 ng kg− 1 in children up to 5 years of age. The high HBCD intake in children was found to be a result of their lower body weight and their high consumption of milk and homemade Korean baby foods that usually contain fish.
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