Cats’ Internal Exposure to Selected Brominated Flame Retardants and Organochlorines Correlated to House Dust and Cat Food

Engdahl, JN; Bignert, A; Jones, B; Athanassiadis, I; Bergman, A; Weiss, JM
2017 | Environ. Sci. Technol. | 51 (5) (3012-3020)
Pet cats may be used as a biomarker for assessing exposures to organohalogen compounds (OHCs) adsorbed to household dust in home environments. This study explores two exposure routes of OHCs, ingestion of OHCs (i) via house dust and (ii) via cat food. House dust from 17 Swedish homes and serum from the participating families' pet cats were collected, and cat food was purchased matching the diet reported. Paired samples of cat serum, house dust, and cat food were analyzed for brominated flame retardants/natural products (polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), decabromobiphenyl (BB-209), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), 2,4,6-tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP), OH-PBDEs) and organochlorines (polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 1,1-bis(4,4'-dichlorodipheny1)-2,2,2-trichloroethane (4,4'-DDT), 1,1-bis(4,4'-dichlorodiphenyl)-2,2-dichloroethene (4,4'-DDE), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), pentachlorophenol (PCP)). Significant correlations were found between serum and dust samples from the living rooms for BDE-47 (p < 0.035), BDE-99 (p < 0.035), and BDE-153 (p < 0.039), from the adult's bedroom for BDE-99 < 0.019) and from all rooms for BDE-99 (p < 0.020) and BB-209 (p < 0.048). This is the first time a correlation between cat serum levels and household dust has been established, a finding that supports the hypothesis that dust is a significant exposure route for cats. Serum levels were also significantly correlated with concentrations found in cat food for 6-OH-BDE47 (p < 0.002), 2,4,6-TBP (p < 0.035), and BB-209 (p < 0.007). DBDPE was found in high concentrations in all dust (median 154 pmol/g) and food samples (median 0.7 pmol/ig lw) but was below detection in serum samples, suggesting low or no bioavailability for DBDPE in cats.

Spatial distribution and bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in snails (Bellamya aeruginosa) and sediments from Taihu Lake area, China

Yin, G; Zhou, YH; Strid, A; Zheng, ZY; Bignert, A; Ma, TW; Athanassiadis, I; Qiu, YL
2017 | Environ Sci Pollut Res | 24 (8) (7740-7751)
Taihu Lake area is one of the densest metropolitan areas in the world including diverse industrial activity. In the present study, the snail (Bellamya aeruginosa) and sediment were collected from the Taihu Lake area to investigate the contamination status, congener pattern, spatial distribution, and bioaccumulation effect of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The samples underwent liquid extraction, lipid removal by sulfuric acid, and acidic silica gel column, and subsequently analyzed by gas chromatography-electron capture detector (GC-ECD) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Concentration of S22PCBs ranged between 90 and 680 ng g(-1) lipid weight in the snails and between 0.018 and 0.82 ng g(-1) dry weight in the sediments. Concentration of S24PBDEs varied from 25 to 200 ng g(-1) lipid weight in the snails and from 0.62 to 67 ng g(-1) dry weight in the sediments. The levels of PCBs and PBDEs observed were in the medium to low range compared with other studies in the world. CB-153 was the predominant PCB congener in both snails and sediments whereas BDE-209 showed a low bioavailability in the snails, even if it contributed up to 70% of S24PBDEs in the sediments. The spatial distribution showed that the highest concentration of PCBs and PBDEs were detected in samples from Zhushan Lake. East Taihu Lake and Dianshan Lake showed lower concentration of PCBs and PBDEs than the other sampling sites. Biota-sediment accumulation was found between snails and sediments of most of PCB and PBDE congeners except for the highly brominated BDEs (i.e., BDE-209). Therefore, sediment is suggested to be an appropriate matrix to monitor BDE-209 while aquatic species such as the snail could be good for monitoring of PCBs and lower brominated BDE congeners. No significant correlation (Spearman correlation test, two-tailed) of CB-153 (r = 0.54, p = 0.27) or BDE-47 (r = 0.60, p = 0.21) was found between snails and sediments.

A transition metal oxofluoride offering advantages in electrocatalysis and potential use in applications

Svengren, H; Torapava, N; Athanassiadis, I; Ali, SI; Johnsson, M
2016 | Faraday Discuss. | 188 (481-498)
The recently described solid solution ( Co,Ni,Mn)(3)Sb4O6F6 has proved stable and efficient as a catalyst for electrocatalytic water oxidation. The end component Co3Sb4O6F6 was found to be most efficient, maintaining a current density of j = 10 mA cm(-2) at an overpotential of 443 mV with good capability. At this current density, O-2 and H-2 were produced in the ratio 1 : 2 without loss of faradaic current against a Pt-cathode. A morphological change in the crystallite surface was observed after 0.5 h, however, even after 64.5 h, the overall shape and size of the small crystallites were unaffected and the electrolyte contained only 0.02 at% Co. It was also possible to conclude from in situ EXAFS measurements that the coordination around Co did not change. The oxofluorides express both hydrophilic and hydrophobic surface sites, incorporate a flexible metalloid element and offer the possibility of a mechanism that differs from other inorganic catalytic pathways previously described.

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in mussels from cultures and natural population

Dosis, I; Athanassiadis, I; Karamanlis, X
2016 | Mar. Pollut. Bull. | 107 (1) (92-101)
Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) mass fractions were determined in mussel samples collected from 6 locations around Thermaikos Gulf in north Greece. PBDEs were present in all sampling sites and the average total (2,PBDEs) ranged from 17.7 to 323 ng/g l.w., characterising Thermaikos as low polluted, a fact further supported by congener ratios and literature comparison. Distribution was even among stations with one exception. Congener profiles exhibited predominance of penta-/octa-BDEs as well as BDE-209. Statistical analysis showed significant difference in pollution levels between the two types of mussel cultures. No variations were observed for mussel bunch position or between cultures and natural population. Congener correlation analysis suggested different pollution sources between higher and lower brominated congeners as well as different metabolic/degradation processes. Bioaccumulation factors indicated that an increase in congener bromination degree leads to bioaccumulation capacity reduction. Consumption of mussels from Thermaikos gulf area poses no threat for public health concerning PBDEs. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Extensive organohalogen contamination in wildlife from a site in the Yangtze River Delta

Zhou, YH; Asplund, L; Yin, G; Athanassiadis, I; Wideqvist, U; Bignert, A; Qiu, YL; Zhu, ZL; Zhao, JF; Bergman, A
2016 | Sci. Total Environ. | 554 (320-328)
The environmental and human health concerns for organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) extend beyond the 23 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) regulated by the Stockholm Convention. The current, intense industrial production and use of chemicals in China and their bioaccumulation makes Chinese wildlife highly suitable for the assessment of legacy, novel and emerging environmental pollutants. In the present study, six species of amphibians, fish and birds were sampled from paddy fields in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) were screened for OHCs. Some extensive contamination was found, both regarding number and concentrations of the analytes, among the species assessed. High concentrations of chlorinated paraffins were found in the snake, Short-tailed mamushi (range of 200-340 mu g g(-1) lw), Peregrine falcon (8-59 mu g g(-1) lw) and Asiatic toad (97 mu g g(-1) lw). Novel contaminants and patterns were observed; octaCBs to decaCB made up 20% of the total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) content in the samples and new OHCs, substituted with 5-8 chlorines, were found but are not yet structurally confirmed. In addition, Dechlorane 602 (DDC-DBF) and numerous other OHCs (DDTs, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexbromocyclododecane (HBCDD), chlordane, heptachlor, endosulfan and Mirex) were found in all species analyzed. These data show extensive chemical contamination of wildlife in the YRD with a suite of OHCs with both known and unknown toxicities, calling for further indepth studies. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

An Oxofluoride Catalyst Comprised of Transition Metals and a Metalloid for Application in Water Oxidation

Svengren, H; Hu, SC; Athanassiadis, I; Laine, TM; Johnsson, M
2015 | CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL | 21 (37) (12991-12995)

The application of the recently discovered oxofluoride solid solution (CoxNi1-x)(3)Sb4O6F6 as a catalyst for water oxidation is demonstrated. The phase exhibits a cubic arrangement of the active metal that forms oxo bridges to the metalloid with possible catalytic participation. The Co3Sb4O6F6 compound proved to be capable of catalyzing 2H(2)OO(2)+4H(+)+4e(-) at 0.33V electrochemical and 0.39V chemical overpotential with a TOF of 4.410(-3), whereas Ni3Sb4O6F6 needs a higher overpotential. Relatively large crystal cubes (0.3-0.5mm) are easily synthesized and readily handled as they demonstrate both chemical resistance to wear after repeated insitu tests under experimental conditions, and have a mechanical hardness of 270V0.1 using Vickers indentation. The combined properties of this compound offer a potential technical advantage for incorporation to a catalytic interface in future sustainable fuel production.

Higher PBDE Serum Concentrations May Be Associated with Feline Hyperthyroidism in Swedish Cats

Norrgran, J; Jones, B; Bignert, A; Athanassiadis, I; Bergman, A
2015 | Environ. Sci. Technol. | 49 (8) (5107-5114)
Serum from 82 individual cats was analyzed for decabromobiphenyl (BB-209), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hydroxylated PBDEs (OH-PBDEs), and 2,4,6-TBP in order to study differences in body burden between healthy and sick cats diagnosed with Feline Hyperthyroidism (FH). Within the study group, 60 of these cats had a euthyroid (n = 23) or hyperthyroid (n = 37) status, all of which were used in the comparison. This study shows that hyperthyroid compared to euthyroid cats have higher serum concentrations for some of the investigated PBDEs (BDE-99, BDE-153, and BDE-183) and CB-153 on a fat weight basis. Further, it is intriguing, and beyond explanation, why the flame retardant BB-209 (discontinued in 2000) is present in all of the cat serum samples in concentrations similar to BDE-209. Median BDE-47/-99 ratios are 0.47 and 0.32 for healthy and euthyroid cats, respectively, which differs significantly from Swedes, where the ratio is 3.5. Another important finding is the occurrence of very low levels or the absence of hydroxylated PBDE metabolites in the cats. In addition, the major OH-PBDE, 6-OH-BDE47, is likely of natural origin, probably ingested via cat food. The statistics indicate an association between elevated PBDE concentrations in the cats and PH.

Brominated flame retardant exposure of aircraft personnel

Strid, A; Smedje, G; Athanassiadis, I; Lindgren, T; Lundgren, H; Jakobsson, K; Bergman, A
2014 | Chemosphere | 116 (83-90)
The use of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in aircraft is the result of high fire safety demands. Personnel working in or with aircraft might therefore be exposed to several BFRs. Previous studies have reported PBDE exposure in flight attendants and in passengers. One other group that may be subjected to significant BFR exposure via inhalation, are the aircraft maintenance workers. Personnel exposure both during flights and maintenance of aircraft, are investigated in the present study. Several BFRs were present in air and dust sampled during both the exposure scenarios; PBDEs, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) and 1,2-bis (2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane. PBDEs were also analyzed in serum from pilots/cabin crew, maintenance workers and from a control group of individuals without any occupational aircraft exposure. Significantly higher concentrations of PBDEs were found in maintenance workers compared to pilots/cabin crew and control subjects with median total PBDE concentrations of 19, 6.8 and 6.6 pmol g(-1) lipids, respectively. Pilots and cabin crew had similar concentrations of most PBDEs as the control group, except for BDE-153 and BDE-154 which were significantly higher. Results indicate higher concentrations among some of the pilots compared to the cabin crew. It is however, evident that the cabin personnel have lower BFR exposures compared to maintenance workers that are exposed to such a degree that their blood levels are significantly different from the control group. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Flame Retardants in Airplanes

Smedje, G; Lindgren, T; Jakobsson, K; Athanassiadis, I; Bergman, A
2011 | Epidemiology | 22 (1) (S80-S80)

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in marine sediment of Thermaikos Gulf, Greece

Dosis, I; Kamarianos, A; Athanasiadou, M; Athanassiadis, I; Karamanlis, X
2011 | Int J Environ Anal Chem | 91 (12) (1151-1165)
Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) concentrations were determined in marine sediment samples collected from 7 different locations around Thermaikos Gulf in north Greece. PBDEs were detected in all sampling sites and their average total concentration (Sigma PBDEs) ranged from 0.26 to 4.92 ng g(-1) d.w. Concentrations were an order of magnitude higher in locations outlining the inner part of the Gulf, which were also closer to industrial areas, sewage treatment plant discharges, the city's harbour and landfill area. These findings suggest pollution in the aquatic ecosystem from industrial and urban activities in the area. Congener profiles exhibit predominance of BDE-209, while concentrations of other PBDE congeners were usually lower, when compared to similar studies from other countries globally, indicating that Thermaikos Gulf is among the low-polluted areas. Statistical analysis showed significant differences among the higher polluted sampling stations. Statistically significant differences also existed between sampling stations with high and low PBDE concentrations. Correlations between congeners suggested local contamination sources; however, specific point sources of pollution were not established.

In Vivo Doses of Acrylamide and Glycidamide in Humans after Intake of Acrylamide-Rich Food

Vikstrom, AC; Abramsson-Zetterberg, L; Naruszewicz, M; Athanassiadis, I; Granath, FN; Tornqvist, MA
2011 | Toxicol. Sci. | 119 (41-49)

Contact information

Visiting addresses:

Geovetenskapens Hus,
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, Stockholm

Arrheniuslaboratoriet, Svante Arrhenius väg 16, Stockholm (Unit for Analytical and Toxicological Chemistry)

Mailing address:
Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES)
Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm

Press enquiries should be directed to:

Stella Papadopoulou
Science Communicator
Phone +46 (0)8 674 70 11
stella.papadopoulou@aces.su.se