Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of decabromodiphenyl oxide, a flame retardant for plastics and other materials, were conducted by exposing groups of 50 male and 50 female F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice at 0, 25,000, and 50,000 ppm in the diet for 103 weeks. These concentrations were selected because no toxicity was observed at any dose in the 14-day or 13-week studies and 50,000 ppm chemical in the diet is considered to be the highest dose to which rats and mice can be exposed for extended periods of time without reducing the nutritional value of the diet. No compound-related gross or microscopic pathologic effects were observed in the 14-day or 13-week studies.
Body weights of dosed male and female rats and mice in the 2-year studies were comparable to those of the controls. Decreased survival of low dose male rats was not believed to be compound related. No other effects on survival were observed in the 2-year studies. Loss of control male mice (presumably due to fighting) was significant during the first part of the study.
In the 2-year studies, nonneoplastic lesions were observed at increased incidences in rats and mice of each sex. Thrombosis and degeneration of the liver, fibrosis of the spleen, and lymphoid hyperplasia were observed in high dose male rats. Degeneration of the eye was observed in low dose female rats. Nonneoplastic lesions observed in dosed mice were granulomas in the liver of low dose males and hypertrophy in the liver of low dose and high dose males. Follicular cell hyperplasia was observed in thyroid glands of dosed male mice (control, 2/50; low dose, 10/50; high dose, 19/50).
The incidences of neoplastic nodules in the liver of low and high dose male rats (1/50; 7/50; 15/49) and high dose female rats (1/50; 3/49; 9/50) were significantly greater than those in the controls. Mononuclear cell leukemia occurred in dosed male rats with a positive trend (30/50; 33/50; 35/50); this marginal increase was not considered biologically significant. Acinar cell adenomas were observed in the pancreas of four high dose male rats, and a sarcoma was observed in the spleen of one low dose and one high dose male rat. Hepatocellular adenomas or carcinomas (combined) occurred at marginally increased incidences in dosed male mice (8/50; 22/50; 18/50). The incidences of thyroid gland follicular cell adenomas or carcinomas (combined) were increased in dose male mice (0/50; 4/50; 3/50).
A study of decabromodiphenyl oxide absorption from the gastrointestinal tract indicated that absorption was minimal, possibly less than 1%, at the doses administered in the 2-year studies. Additional chemical analysis indicated than the decabromodiphenyl oxide used in these studies contained several less brominated diphenyl oxides. Therefore, since absorption and toxicity of minor impurities are unknown, effects observed in these studies must be attributed to the approximately 95% pure preparation used rather than to pure decabromodiphenyl oxide.
Decabromodiphenyl oxide was not mutagenic in strains TA1535, TA1537, TA98, or TA100 of Salmonella typhimurium in the presence or absence of Aroclor 1254-induced Sprague-Dawley male rat or Syrian hamster liver S9 when tested according to the preincubational protocol. Decabromodiphenyl oxide was not mutagenic in the mouse lymphoma L5178Y/TK+/- assay in the presence or absence of Aroclor 1254-induced F344/N male rat liver S9. Decabromodiphenyl oxide did not induce sister-chromatid exchanges or chromosomal aberrations in Chinese hamster ovary cells in vitro in the presence or absence of S9 prepared from livers of Aroclor 1254-induced male Sprague-Dawley rats.
An audit of experimental data was conducted for these 2-year studies on decabromodiphenyl oxide. No data discrepancies were found that influenced the final interpretations.
Under the conditions of these 2-year feed studies of decabromodiphenyl oxide, there was some evidence of carcinogenicity for male and female F344/N rats as shown by increased incidences of neoplastic nodules of the liver in low dose (25,000 ppm) males and high dose (50,000 ppm) groups of each sex. There was equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity for male B6C3F1 mice as shown by increased incidences of hepatocellular adenomas or carcinomas (combined) in the low dose group and of thyroid gland follicular cell adenomas or carcinomas (combined) in both dosed groups. There was no evidence of carcinogenicity for female B6C3F1 mice receiving 25,000 or 50,000 ppm in the diet. Several nonneoplastic lesions were observed at increased incidences, the most notable being thyroid gland follicular cell hyperplasia in male mice.