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Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a bioaccumulative, persistent, and toxic class of flame retardants that can potentially impact turtles in natural habitats via exposure through maternal transfer. To simulate maternal transfer in the present study, PBDE congeners BDE-47 and BDE-99 were topically applied to the eggshell and were allowed to diffuse into the egg contents of the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) and snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). Eggs were topically dosed over 8 d to achieve a target concentration of 40 ng/g in the egg contents. Transfer efficiency was higher for BDE-47 than for BDE-99 in the red-eared sliders (25.8 ± 1.9% vs 9.9 ± 1.1%) and snapping turtles (31.3 ± 1.6% vs 12.5 ± 1.4%), resulting in greater BDE-47 and lower BDE-99 egg content concentrations relative to the 40 ng/g target. However, only 25.8 and 31.3% of the total BDE-47 and 9.9 and 12.5% of the total BDE-99 dose applied could be accounted for in the red-eared slider and snapping turtle egg contents, respectively. Additionally, increased BDE-47 in red-eared slider egg contents dosed with only BDE-99 indicate that BDE-99 might have been debrominated to BDE-47. The efficacy of topical dosing for administering desired embryonic exposures is clearly affected by the chemical properties of the applied compounds and was more successful for BDE-47 in both species. Copyright © 2012 SETAC.


Karen M Eisenreich, Christopher L Rowe. Experimental exposure of eggs to polybrominated diphenyl ethers BDE-47 and BDE-99 in red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and possible species-specific differences in debromination. Environmental toxicology and chemistry / SETAC. 2013 Feb;32(2):393-400

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PMID: 23147837

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