Journal article Open Access
Halogenated organic compounds are a particular group of contaminants consisting of a large number of substances, and of great concern due to their persistence in the environment, potential for bioaccumulation and toxicity. Some of these compounds have been classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under The Stockholm Convention and many toxicity assessments have been conducted on them previously. In this work we provide an overview of enzymatic assays used in these studies to establish toxic effects and dose-response relationships. Studies in vivo and in vitro have been considered with a particular emphasis on the impact of halogenated compounds on the activity of relevant enzymes to the humans and the environment. Most information available in the literature focuses on chlorinated compounds, but brominated and fluorinated molecules are also the target of increasing numbers of studies. The enzymes identified can be classified as enzymes: i) the activities of which are affected by the presence of halogenated organic compounds, and ii) those involved in their metabolisation/detoxification resulting in increased activities. In both cases the halogen substituent seems to have an important role in the effects observed. Finally, the use of these enzymes in biosensing tools for monitoring of halogenated compounds is described.