Innovative application of fluoro tagging to trace airborne particulate and gas-phase polybrominated diphenyl ether exposures

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Chemical Research in Toxicology

DOI of Published Version



Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are flame retardants applied as coatings to many consumer products, including household items. PBDEs are released and produce airborne vapors and dusts. Inhalation of particle-phase and/or gas-phase PBDEs is therefore a major route of exposure. In an attempt to mimic realistic airborne exposures, actual uptake, and deposition of particles and vapors, we prepared and characterized particles for future animal exposure studies. To trace the particles in environmental and biological systems, we employed fluoro tagging. We synthesized, characterized, and employed three PBDE congeners, 35, 47, and 99, and five fluoro-substituted PBDEs (F-PBDEs), 17-F5' 25-F5', 28-F3', 35-F5', 47-F3, and 99-F3', for this study. The PBDE congeners were selected because they are commonly found in house dust. For that reason, we coated spherical silica particles of 3 microm and C18 endcapped silica as representative and inert support materials, with 20, 30, and 40% PBDEs. We determined the particle size distributions by aerodynamic particle size spectrometry and the morphology by scanning electron microscopy. The suitability of the fluoro-tagged tracers to mimic their corresponding parent PBDEs was investigated by extraction studies from spiked blood serum. Our study is of fundamental importance to the development of xenobiotic tracers for monitoring routes of human exposure to PBDEs and understanding uptake of PBDEs from particles and vapors.



Published Article/Book Citation

Chemical Research in Toxicology, 22:1 (2009) pp.179-186. DOI:10.1021/tx8003032.

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