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There was no clear association between plasma levels of 2,2',4,4-tetraBDE and thyroid hormone levels (free and total T3 and T4, TSH, free testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, lutenizing hormone, and prolactin) in men who consumed varying amounts of fatty fish from the Baltic Sea. Based on consistent evidence in animals, as summarized below, the thyroid is particularly sensitive to PBDEs and is a likely target of toxicity in exposed humans. Thyroid effects that have mainly included reduced serum T4 hormone levels and follicular cell hyperplasia were consistently observed in rats and mice orally exposed to PBDEs.

Acute-, intermediate-, and chronic-duration oral studies have found no histological alterations in the skin, pinnae, ear canals, or salivary glands of rats or mice exposed to FireMaster FF-1 or FireMaster BP-6. Alopecia, loss of eyelashes, generalized subcutaneous edema, dry scaly skin, and periorbital edema developed in three monkeys that were exposed to low doses of FireMaster FF-1 for several months; related histological findings included sebaceous gland atrophy and metaplasia and keratinization of hair follicles.

1975; Norris et al. 1975a). Evaluations that included clinical signs, body weight, food consumption, hematology, clinical chemistry, urine indices, and comprehensive histological examinations showed no exposure-related effects. In the other chronic study, decaBDE (94–97% pure) was fed to F344 rats (50/sex/dose level) in doses of 1,120/1,200 mg/kg/day (males/females) or 2,240/2,550 mg/kg/day, and B6C3F1 mice (50/sex/dose level) in doses of 3,200/3,760 mg/kg/day or 6,650/7,780 mg/kg/day, for 103 weeks (NTP 1986).

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