Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in breast milk and associated health risks to nursing infants in Northern Tanzania


Themain aim of this studywas to assess brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in breastmilk in the Northern parts of Tanzania. Ninety-five colostrum samples from healthy, primiparous mothers at Mount Meru Regional Referral Hospital (MMRRH), Arusha Tanzania, were analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE), hexabromobenzene (HBB), (2,3-dibromopropyl) (2,4,6-tribromophenyl) ether (DPTE), pentabromoethylbenzene (PBEB) and 2,3,4,5,6- pentabromotoluene (PBT). The Ʃ7PBDE (BDE 28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, 183) ranged from below level of detection (bLOD) to 785 ng/g lipid weight (lw). BDE 47, 99, 100 and 153 were the dominating congeners, suggesting recent and ongoing exposure to banned, commercial PentaBDE mixture. Amultiple linear regressionmodel revealed that mothers eating clay soil/Pemba during pregnancy had significantly higher levels of BDE 47, 99, 100 and 153 in their breast milk than mothers who did not eat clay soil/Pemba. Infant birth weight and birth length were significantly correlated with the levels of BDE 47, 99, 100 and 153. The estimated daily intake (ng/kg body weight/day) of BDE 47 and 99 exceeded the US EPA Reference doses (RfD) in four and eight mothers, respectively, suggesting a potential health risk to the nursing infants.



Brominated flame retardants, Infant growth, Pemba, Estimated daily intake, Human breast milk, Tanzania