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PBDE Testing

Contact: Dr. Bonita Taffe, Section Manager; 517-335-9490

PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are a class of halogenated flame retardants that have been widely used since the late 1970s.

PBDEs were introduced after the closely related polybrominated biphenyl flame retardants (PBBs) were banned in the mid-1970s following a 1973 incident in Michigan in which FlameMaster FF-1 was accidentally mixed with animal feed. That accident led to widespread contamination and health problems for thousands of Michigan residents.

The State of Michigan Laboratory conducts PBDE testing in serum, human breast milk, adipose tissue, and human placenta samples. PBDE congeners of environmental health significance can be separated and detected down to low parts-per-billion levels in human serum utilizing capillary gas chromatography with electron-capture detection (C-GC-ECD).

The optimal serum volume for analysis is four milliliters, with a detection limit of 0.5 parts-per-billion (ppb) per analyte. Other sample types or sample volumes must be pre-arranged.

For PBDE info: 

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) info from EPA Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics.    http://www.epa.gov/oppt/pbde/ 

 

ToxFAQ for Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.    http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts68-pbde.html 

 

Toxicological Profile for PBDEs at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp68.html 

 

California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs): Recomendations to reduce exposure in California (Feb 2006).  http://www.oehha.ca.gov/public_info/pbderpt.html 

 

 



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