John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Halogenated flame retardants during egg formation and chicken embryo development: Maternal transfer, possible biotransformation, and tissue distribution

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Hen muscle, eggs, and newborn chick tissues (muscle and liver) were collected from an electronic waste recycling site in southern China. The authors examined the maternal transfer, potential metabolism, and tissue distribution of several halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) during egg formation and chicken embryo development. The pollutant composition changes significantly from hen muscle to eggs and from eggs to tissues of newborn chicks. Higher‐halogenated chemicals, such as octa‐ to deca‐polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners, deca‐polybrominated biphenyl (PBB209), and dechlorane plus (DP), are less readily transferred to eggs compared with lower‐halogenated chemicals. During embryo development, PBDEs are the most likely to be metabolized, whereas decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) is the least. The authors also observed selective maternal transfer of anti‐DP and stereoselective metabolism of syn‐DP during chicken embryo development. During tissue development, liver has greater affinity than the muscle for chemcials with a high log octanol–water partition coefficient, with the exception of DBDPE. The differences in metabolism potential of different chemicals in chicken embryos cause pollutant composition alterations. Halogenated flame retardant from maternal transfer and tissue distribution also exhibited chemical specificity, especially for DBDPE. Levels of DBDPE were elevated along with the full process from hen muscle to eggs and from eggs to chick tissues. More attention should be paid to the selective accumulation and biotransformation of HFRs in the early development stage of birds. Environ Toxicol Chem 2014;9999:1–8. © 2014 SETAC

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