New insights in the endocrine disrupting effects of brominated flame retardants

J. Legler

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The objective of this review is to provide an overview of recent studies demonstrating the endocrine disrupting (ED) effects of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), while highlighting interesting data presented at the recent international BFR workshop in Amsterdam in April, 2007. A review written in 2002 was used as a starting point and about 60 publications published since 2003 were reviewed. New insights into the in vivo effects of BFRs on thyroid hormone, estrogen and androgen pathways in both mammalian and non-mammalian models are provided, and novel (in vitro) findings on the mechanisms underlying ED effects are highlighted. Special attention is also given to reports on neurotoxicological effects at relatively low doses of BFRs, although an endocrine-related mechanism is disputable. Convincing evidence has been published showing that BFRs and importantly, BFR metabolites, have the potential to disrupt endocrine systems at multiple target sites. While some studies suggest a wide margin of safety between effect concentrations in rodent models and levels encountered in humans and the environment, other studies demonstrate that exposure to low doses relevant for humans and wildlife at critical time points in development can result in profound effects on both endocrine pathways and (neuro)development. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-222
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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