Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are man-made chemicals used as flame retardant chemicals and are found in a variety of consumer products (e.g. furniture and electronics).  PBDE commercial mixtures were phased out of use by 2013 in the United States; however, some products containing PBDEs may still be in use in homes.  PBDEs are bioaccumulative, persistent chemicals that have been associated with neurodevelopmental deficits in children, cancer, and reduced fertility [refs].


We use gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to quantify 16 different PBDE chemicals as reported in Hammel et al. 2018.

Sample submission requirements


3.0 mL collected in a serum separator tube and transferred to a pre-cleaned amber glass vial for shipment. Samples should be frozen at -20C immediately after collection, and transported or shipped to the DCEE on dry ice.

Quality assurance & quality control

With each batch of samples analyzed we routinely measure laboratory processing blanks (bovine serum) and evaluate the recovery of the isotopically labeled internal standards. For serum samples we also include analysis of SRM 1957 for comparison to certified levels reported by NIST.