In November 2017 researchers from the USA and Canada published the results of their study to assess the relationship between prenatal and postnatal polybrominated diphenyl ether exposure with inattention and impulsivity in children. A total of 214 children were included in the study. The level of polybrominated diphenyl ether in the children was assessed at approximately 16 weeks’ gestation and during childhood at 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 years, with inattention and impulsivity being assessed at 8 years. Results showed that each 10-fold increase in brominated diphenyl ether-153 exposure was associated with a higher number of omission errors. Lack of impulsivity was also observed with each 10-fold increase in BDE-153 during the prenatal period and throughout childhood. The association between polybrominated diphenyl ether exposure and inattention significantly differed by child sex, with males performing more poorly than females with regard to inattention and impulsivity. The researchers concluded that although the results do not strongly support the fact that polybrominated diphenyl ether is associated with inattention and lack of impulsivity among 8-year-old children, there may be a possible relationship between prenatal and concurrent polybrominated diphenyl ether and inattention.
Vuong AM et al. Prenatal and postnatal polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) exposure and measures of inattention and impulsivity in children. Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2017 Nov;64:20-28.