Levels and trends of HBCD and BDEs in the European and Asian environments, with some information for other BFRs

RJ Law, D Herzke, Stuart Harrad, S Morris, P Bersuder, CR Allchin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    219 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, we review recent data for brominated flame retardants (particularly BDEs, HBCD and TBBP-A) in samples from the European and Asian environments, including recent temporal trend studies. Research is active and we cite over 100 studies published during 2005-2007. Environmental compartments studied comprise the atmosphere, indoor and outdoor air, sewage sludges, soils and sediments and a variety of biological samples and food chains. Findings include that the lack of reference materials for use in analytical quality control and method validation identified earlier has been addressed, and certified concentrations are now available for a number of BDE congeners in six pre-existing and one new reference materials. BDE209 was certified in three samples of indoor dust. The analysis of BDE209 remains problematic, but suitable methods for its determination are available and need to be applied. The contamination of indoor environments with BFRs has been recognised as representing a significant uptake pathway, particularly via dust. Additional data for TBBP-A are needed from areas, where it is produced and used, primarily Asia, as the worst-case scenario. As a reactive flame retardant it is less likely to leach from finished products. Also, issues regarding the importance of e-waste recycling as a source of BFRs to the local populations and the local environment require urgent study, certainly in China and possibly elsewhere. Generally, trends show a levelling in concentrations of BDEs and increases in concentrations of HBCD wherever determined and BDE209 in Asia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-241
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2008


    • Environment
    • PBDE
    • Brominated flame retardants
    • Europe
    • Asia
    • HBCD


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