Bacterial Degradation of Polybrominated Biphenyl Ethers
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague
Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBBEs) are used as flame retardants in various plastic products. PBBEs are persistent, hydrophobic, bioaccumulative, and toxic organic compounds. Despite their low acute toxicity, the low-brominated congeners act as endocrine disruptors and neurodevelopment toxicants. They have been found in both abiotic samples (air, dust, sediments or sewage sludge) and biotics (marine mammals and fish, birds that feed on fish or birds of prey). Studies have confirmed their presence in human blood, adipose tissue and in milk. This review summarizes current knowledge about physicochemical and toxic properties of PBBEs and the possibility of their bacterial degradation.
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