It is important to test the safety of chemicals that will see wide commercial use. Concerns about the embryotoxic effects of some flame retardants have prompted studies like this 2009 experiment, which evaluates the effects of decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPEthane) on prenatal rats and rabbits. The following study finds no evidence of maternal toxicity, developmental toxicity, or teratogenicity in rats or rabbits treated with DBDPEthane.
Prenatal Developmental Toxicity of Decabromodiphenyl Ethane in Rat and Rabbit
Marcia L. Hardy, Michael D. Mercieca, Dean E. Rodwell, and Todd Stedeford
The potential embryotoxic and teratogenic effects of decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPEthane; CASRN 84852-53-9) were evaluated in prenatal developmental studies using rats and rabbits and performed in accordance with international guidelines and Good Laboratory Practice standards. Preliminary dose-range-finding studies were conducted, which indicated doses up to 1,250 mg/kg-day were well tolerated by both rats and rabbits.
For the developmental studies, animals were administered DBDPEthane via gavage at dosage levels of 0, 125, 400, or 1,250 mg/kg-day from gestation day (GD) 6 through 15 for rats and GDs 6 through 18 for rabbits. All female rats and rabbits were sacrificed on GD 20 or GD 29, respectively, and subjected to cesarean section. Fetuses were individually weighed, sexed, and examined for external, visceral and skeletal abnormalities.
No treatment-related mortality, abortions, or clinical signs of toxicity were observed during the study. Body weights, body weight gain, and food consumption were not affected by treatment. No significant internal abnormalities were observed in either species on necropsy. Cesarean section parameters were comparable between control and treated groups. No treatment-induced malformations or developmental variations occurred.
Based on these results, no evidence of maternal toxicity, developmental toxicity, or teratogenicity was observed in rats or rabbits treated with DBDPEthane at dosage levels up to 1,250 mg/kg-day.
Read a study on the new generation of eco-friendly fire retardants and a study about the recyclability of Earthwise™’s new eco-friendly flame retardant, GreenArmor™.
About the author
Dr. Hardy was a member of the first graduating class of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, where she returned for her PhD in Toxicology, after several years of practice. She has worked for Albemarle for over 20 years, focusing on the toxicology of brominated flame retardants. She has presented papers on the topic around the world and published in a variety of journals. Two of her most recent publications, in conjunction with several other authors, are “Prenatal developmental toxicity of decabromodiphenyl ethane in the rat and rabbit” (Birth Defects Research (Part B) 2010 83:1-8) and “Toxicology and human health assessment of decabromodiphenyl ether (Critical Reviews in Toxicology 2009 39(S3):1-44).
Marcia L. Hardy, DVM, PhD
Senior Toxicology Advisor
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