Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Neurobehavioral function and low-level exposure to brominated flame retardants in adolescents: a cross-sectional study
Authors: KICINSKI, Michal 
Viaene, Mineke K.
Den Hond, Elly
Schoeters, Greet
Covaci, Adrian
Dirtu, Alin C.
Nelen, Vera
BRUCKERS, Liesbeth 
Croes, Kim
Sioen, Isabelle
Baeyens, Willy
Van Larebeke, Nicolas
Issue Date: 2012
Source: ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH, 11, Art. N° 86.
Abstract: Background: Animal and in vitro studies demonstrated a neurotoxic potential of brominated flame retardants, a group of chemicals used in many household and commercial products to prevent fire. Although the first reports of detrimental neurobehavioral effects in rodents appeared more than ten years ago, human data are sparse. Methods: As a part of a biomonitoring program for environmental health surveillance in Flanders, Belgium, we assessed the neurobehavioral function with the Neurobehavioral Evaluation System (NES-3), and collected blood samples in a group of high school students. Cross-sectional data on 515 adolescents (13.6-17 years of age) was available for the analysis. Multiple regression models accounting for potential confounders were used to investigate the associations between biomarkers of internal exposure to brominated flame retardants [serum levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners 47, 99, 100, 153, 209, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA)] and cognitive performance. In addition, we investigated the association between brominated flame retardants and serum levels of FT3, FT4, and TSH. Results: A two-fold increase of the sum of serum PBDE's was associated with a decrease of the number of taps with the preferred-hand in the Finger Tapping test by 5.31 (95% CI: 0.56 to 10.05, p = 0.029). The effects of the individual PBDE congeners on the motor speed were consistent. Serum levels above the level of quantification were associated with an average decrease of FT3 level by 0.18 pg/mL (95% CI: 0.03 to 0.34, p = 0.020) for PBDE-99 and by 0.15 pg/mL (95% CI: 0.004 to 0.29, p = 0.045) for PBDE-100, compared with concentrations below the level of quantification. PBDE-47 level above the level of quantification was associated with an average increase of TSH levels by 10.1% (95% CI: 0.8% to 20.2%, p = 0.033), compared with concentrations below the level of quantification. We did not observe effects of PBDE's on neurobehavioral domains other than the motor function. HBCD and TBBPA did not show consistent associations with performance in the neurobehavioral tests. Conclusions: This study is one of few studies and so far the largest one investigating the neurobehavioral effects of brominated flame retardants in humans. Consistently with experimental animal data, PBDE exposure was associated with changes in the motor function and the serum levels of the thyroid hormones.
Notes: [Kicinski, Michal; Nawrot, Tim S.] Hasselt Univ, Ctr Environm Sci, Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Nawrot, Tim S.] KULeuven, Sch Publ Hlth Occupat & Environm Med, Louvain, Belgium. [Viaene, Mineke K.] Sint Dimphna Hosp, Dept Neurol, Geel, Belgium. [Den Hond, Elly; Schoeters, Greet] Flemish Inst Technol Res Environm Risk & Hlth, Mol, Belgium. [Schoeters, Greet] Univ Antwerp, Dept Biomed Sci, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium. [Covaci, Adrian; Dirtu, Alin C.] Univ Antwerp, Toxicol Ctr, B-2020 Antwerp, Belgium. [Nelen, Vera] Prov Inst Hyg, Dept Hlth, Antwerp, Belgium. [Bruckers, Liesbeth] Hasselt Univ, Interuniv Inst Biostat & Stat Bioinformat, Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Croes, Kim; Baeyens, Willy] Brussels Free Univ VUB, Dept Analyt & Environm Chem, Brussels, Belgium. [Sioen, Isabelle] Univ Ghent, Dept Publ Hlth, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium. [Van Larebeke, Nicolas] Univ Ghent, Dept Radiotherapy & Nucl Med, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.
Keywords: Environmental Sciences; Public, Environmental & Occupational Health; brominated flame retardants; PBDE; TBBPA; HBCD; neurotoxicity; neurobehaviaral function; cognitive function; cognition; adolescents;Brominated flame retardants; PBDE; TBBPA; HBCD; Neurotoxicity; Neurobehavioral function; Cognitive function; Cognition; Adolescents
Document URI:
e-ISSN: 1476-069X
DOI: 10.1186/1476-069X-11-86
ISI #: 000312646000001
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validations: ecoom 2014
Appears in Collections:Research publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
kicinski 1.pdfartikel449.36 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Show full item record


checked on Sep 5, 2020


checked on May 21, 2022

Page view(s)

checked on May 26, 2022


checked on May 26, 2022

Google ScholarTM



Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.