Brominated flame retardants in fish and shellfish - levels and contribution of fish consumption to dietary exposure of Dutch citizens to HBCD

S.P.J. van Leeuwen, J. de Boer

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In order to determine the contamination with brominated flame retardants (BFR) in fish regularly consumed by Dutch citizens, 44 samples of freshwater fish, marine fish, and shellfish were analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBP-A) and its methylated derivative (me-TBBP-A), and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), including its α-, β- and γ-diastereomers. The highest BFR concentrations were found in pike-perch and eel from the highly industrialized and urbanized rivers Rhine and Meuse. The sum concentrations of BDE 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, 183, 209, and brominated biphenyl (BB) 153 and HBCD (selection based on The European Food Safety Authority monitoring recommendation) ranged from below quantification limits to 17 ng/g wet weight (ww) in marine fish and in freshwater fish from 0.6 ng/g ww in pike-perch to 380 ng/g ww in eel. The BDE congener profile in all fish and shellfish samples is dominated by BDE 47, followed by BDE 99, except for eel in which BDE 100 is higher than BDE 99. BDE 209 was detected in two mussel samples, most likely due to BDE 209 contaminated particulate matter in their intestines. Total-HBCD (as determined by GC/electron capture negative ion (ECNI)-MS) was detected in 22 out of the 44 samples in concentrations between 0.20 ng/g in marine fish and 230 ng/g ww in eel. Three HBCD diastereomers were determined by HPLC/ESI-MS/MS. α-HBCD was the prevalent congener in most fish samples, followed by γ-HBCD. β-HBCD, TBBP-A and me-TBBP-A were only detected in a few samples and at low concentrations. A considerable difference was found between HBCD results obtained from GC/ECNI-MS and HPLC/ESI-MS/MS: the GC/ECNI-MS results were 4.4 times higher, according to regression analysis. There is hardly any data on human dietary exposure to HBCD available. We have estimated the fish-related dietary exposure of HBCD for the average Dutch population. The medium bound intake was estimated at 8.3 ng/day for a 70-kg person (0.12 ng/kg bodyweight/day). For this estimation, we relied mostly on HPLC/ESI-MS/MS data as we argue that these results are more accurate than those obtained by GC/ECNI-MS. © 2008 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-203
JournalMolecular Nutrition and Food Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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