Atmospheric concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, brominated flame retardants, and novel flame retardants in Lagos, Nigeria indicate substantial local sources

Olumide Emmanuel Akinrinade, William A Stubbings, Mohamed Abou-Elwafa Abdallah, Olusegun Ayejuyo, Rose Alani, Stuart Harrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs) like polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), and novel flame retardants (NFRs) like decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) are ubiquitous environmental pollutants. Despite this, little is known about their concentrations in outdoor air in the African continent. To address this knowledge gap, concentrations of BFRs, NFRs, and PCBs were measured in outdoor air at 8 sites located within the metropolitan area of Lagos, Nigeria. Concentrations of ∑8BDEs, ∑HBCDD, ∑7NFRs and ∑8PCBs were: 21-750 (median = 100) pg/m3, <12-180 (median = < 12) pg/m3, 34-900 (median = 300) pg/m3 and 85-460 (median = 300) pg/m3, respectively. Decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209, range: <16-620 pg/m3, median = 71 pg/m3) and DBDPE (range: <37-890 pg/m3, median = 280 pg/m3) were the dominant BFRs detected, while the non-Arochlor PCB 11 (range: 49-220 pg/m3, median = 100 pg/m3) was the dominant PCB. To the authors' knowledge, these are the first data on the non-Arochlor PCB 11 in outdoor air in Africa. In general, concentrations of all target contaminants in this study were within the range reported elsewhere in Africa and worldwide. Likely due to the tropical climate of Lagos, no seasonal variation in concentrations was discernible for any of the target contaminants. While concentrations of PBDEs and some NFRs were correlated with population density, concentrations of PCBs appear more impacted by leaks from electrical transformers and for PCB 11 to proximity to activities like textile factories that produce and use dyes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112091
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume204
Issue numberPart B
Early online date23 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • PCBs
  • BFRs
  • PBDEs
  • HBCDD
  • DBDPE
  • Urban air
  • Africa

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