Temporal comparison of PBDEs, OH-PBDEs, PCBs, and OH-PCBs in the serum of second trimester pregnant women recruited from San Francisco General Hospital, California

Ami R. Zota, Linda Linderholm, June Soo Park, Myrto Petreas, Tan Guo, Martin L. Privalsky, R. Thomas Zoeller, Tracey J. Woodruff

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73 Scopus citations


Prenatal exposures to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) can harm neurodevelopment in humans and animals. In 2003-2004, PentaBDE and OctaBDE were banned in California and phased-out of US production; resulting impacts on human exposures are unknown. We previously reported that median serum concentrations of PBDEs and their metabolites (OH-PBDEs) among second trimester pregnant women recruited from San Francisco General Hospital (2008-2009; n = 25) were the highest among pregnant women worldwide. We recruited another cohort from the same clinic in 2011-2012 (n = 36) and now compare serum concentrations of PBDEs, OH-PBDEs, polychlorinated biphenyl ethers (PCBs) (structurally similar compounds banned in 1979), and OH-PCBs between two demographically similar cohorts. Between 2008-2009 and 2011-2012, adjusted least-squares geometric mean (LSGM) concentrations of ΣPBDEs decreased 65% (95% CI: 18, 130) from 90.0 ng/g lipid (95% CI: 64.7, 125.2) to 54.6 ng/g lipid (95% CI: 39.2, 76.2) (p = 0.004); ΣOH-PBDEs decreased 6-fold (p < 0.0001); and BDE-47, -99, and -100 declined more than BDE-153. There was a modest, nonsignificant (p = 0.13) decline in LSGM concentrations of ΣPCBs and minimal differences in ΣOH-PCBs between 2008-2009 and 2011-2012. PBDE exposures are likely declining due to regulatory action, but the relative stability in PCB exposures suggests PBDE exposures may eventually plateau and persist for decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11776-11784
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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