Topic status: We're looking for students to study this topic.

This project involves and investigation of sources and exposure pathways of a variety of organic pollutants that are known to bioaccumulate in humans. These include the brominated flame retardants, polyfluralkyls, bisphenol A, triclosan and their metabolites. These chemicals are known to accumulate in humans and may be readily measured in human samples. We would like to compare previously measured and current levels to further investigate temporal, gender and age trends and potential alterations in exposure.

The aim of this project is to determine the levels of a variety of organic pollutants in humans (blood serum, breast milk and urine), the environment (air and dust samples) and potential sources (common household items including electronic equipment, clothing and furniture) and to compare this with temporal, age and gender data that is available on the levels of these compounds.

This project will involve the collection of samples from a variety of sources including humans (blood, breast milk, urine and tissue), dust, air and household products in to determine the levels. Standard methodological approaches will be used for both sample collection and analysis.


  • Toms L-M, Sjudin A, Harden F, Hobson P Jones R, Edenfield E, Mueller . Concentration of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in pooled human serum are higher in children (age 2-5 years) than in infants and adults Environmental Health Perspectives 2009 117 1461-1465.
  • Allmyra M, Harden F, Toms L-M, Mueller J, McLachlan M, Adolfsson-Erici M, Sandborgh-Englunda G. The influence of age and gender on triclosan concentrations inAustralian human blood serum. Science of the Total Environment 2008 393: 162-167.
  • Toms L-M, Calafat A, Kayo K, Thompson, Harden F, Hobson P, Sjodin A and Mueller J. Polyfluoroalkyl chemicals in pooled blood serum from infants, children, and adults in Australia. Environment Science and Technolnology. 2009, 43, 4194-4199.
Study level
QUT External Leisa Toms (University of Queensland)
Organisational unit

Science and Engineering Faculty

Research areas
Please contact the supervisor.