Document Title

Identification of Estrogenic Compounds Emitted from the Combustion of Computer Printed Circuit Boards in Electronic Waste

Department/School

Biology

Abstract

Rapid changes in technology have brought about a surge in demand for electronic equipment. Many of these products contain brominated flame-retardants (BFRs) as additives to decrease the rate of combustion, raising concerns about their toxicological risk. In our study, emissions from the combustion of computer-printed circuit boards were evaluated in the T47D-KBluc estrogen-responsive cell line at a series of concentrations. There was significant activity from the emission extract when compared to the positive control, 0.1 nM estradiol. After HPLC fractionation, GC/MS identified ten chemicals which included bisphenol A; the brominated derivates mono-, di-, and tribisphenol, triphenyl phosphate, triphenyl phosphine oxide, 4′-bromo-[1,1′-biphenyl]-4-ol, 3,5-dibromo-4-hydroxybiphenyl, 3,5-dibromo-2-hydroxybiphenyl, and the oxygenated polyaromatic hydrocarbon benzanthrone. Commercially available samples of these ten compounds were tested. The compound 4′-bromo-[1,1′-biphenyl]-4-ol resulted in dose-dependent significant increases for luciferase activity at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 10 µM in the T47D-KBluc assay. The chemical also demonstrated an affinity for binding to the estrogen receptor (ER) with an IC50 of 2 × 10−7 M. To determine the uterotrophic activity, three doses (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg/day) of 4′-bromo-[1,1′-biphenyl]-4-ol were administered to adult ovariectomized Long–Evans rats for 3 days. Treatment of the animals with 200 mg/kg/day showed an increase in uterine weight. Hence one new chemical, released by burning of electrical wastes, was identified which displays estrogenic activity both in vitro and in vivo. However, it was about 1000-fold less potent than ethynyl estradiol.

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Environmental Science and Technology

Publication Date

12-1-2007

Volume

41

Issue

24

Pages

8506-8511

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1021/es071425p

PubMed ID (PMID)

18200886

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