Brominated flame-retardants (BFRs) are used in a wide range of products to reduce flammability. Currently, the three main groups of chemicals used as BFRs are: polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA).
Because of their ability of bioaccumulation and long-range transport together with possible toxic properties there is considerable concern about the effects of the main groups of BFRs still in use on humans and wildlife. Recently, high bioaccumulation of BFRs and inter-species differences in their levels were found in birds from Norway. Because of endocrine disrupting properties of the selected BFRs they can affect thyroid hormone level and the development of bird embryo and hatchling.
Understanding their mechanism of action is essential for assessing risk of BFRs to effect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Aim of the research is to determine between-species differences in uptake, levels, and metabolism of deca-BDE (BDE-209), HBCD and TBBPA in birds. This will be accompanied by the evaluation of thyroid disruptive effects of the chemicals on development in precocial and altricial birds.
To achieve these goals concentrations of deca-BDE (BDE-209), HBCD and TBBPA will be determine in bird species from different trophic levels and their prey items making it possible to assess uptake and bioaccumulation. Altricial and precocial species belonging to the terrestrial and marine ecosystems will be analysed. This will be followed by the examination of BFRs metabolites in the birds.
Furthermore metabolism of the BFRs compounds will be determined in-vitro and cypP450 1A and 2B activity as well as analyses of phase II enzyme activity will be done. Studies on thyroid disruptive effects will be performed on birds in controlled laboratory experiments. Thyroid hormone in plasma and TH-receptors analyses in the tissues of wild birds and laboratory ones will be conducted.
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