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A PBPK model to study the transfer of α-hexabromocyclododecane (α-HBCDD) to tissues of fast- and slow-growing broilers

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Bertrand Méda (Inrae) et al., Food Additives & Contaminants : Part A, 2020, volume 37, numéro 2, février, p. 316-331

A physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model was developed to investigate the production-specific factors involved in the transfer of α-hexabromocyclododecane (α-HBCDD) to broiler meat. The model describes growth and lipid deposition in tissues of fast- (FG) and slow- (SG) growing broilers from hatching to slaughter and simulates the exposure through the ingestion of contaminated feed or expanded polystyrene insulation material. Growth parameters were obtained from the literature while parameters relative to uptake, distribution, and elimination of α-HBCDD were adjusted using results of a previous experiment involving broilers exposed through feed throughout the rearing period or allowed to depurate before slaughter. The model was used to compare the two main edible tissues, breast and leg meat, as well as skin, and to investigate the variability within strain. Between strains and within strain, α-HBCDD assimilation efficiency (AE) is higher when the animals are slaughtered young or heavy. However, increasing slaughter age will lower α-HBCDD concentration in tissues, due to dilution. Based on fresh weight, the concentration of α-HBCDD in breast muscles and skin tends to be lower in SG than in FG broilers (-30 to +10%), while it is 10% to 80% higher in leg muscles. Compared to breast muscles, consuming leg muscles would elicit an exposure 9 and 16 times higher in FG and SG broilers, respectively. The consumption of skin together with muscles would multiply the exposure by up to 36 times compared to breast muscle alone. In case of acute exposure, the α-HBCDD concentration in tissues increased sharply, all the more since the animals are lighter in weight, and then decreased rapidly. In FG broilers, dilution through growth contributed for up to 37%, 28% and 97% to the decontamination of breast muscles, leg muscles and skin, respectively, depending on the duration of depuration before slaughter.