Mass transfer of PBDEs from plastic TV casing to indoor dust via three migration pathways - A test chamber investigation

C. Rauert, S. Harrad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)
302 Downloads (Pure)


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are widely detected in humans with substantial exposure thought to occur in indoor environments and particularly via contact with indoor dust. Despite this, knowledge of how PBDEs migrate to indoor dust from products within which they are incorporated is scarce. This study utilises an in-house designed and built test chamber to investigate the relative significance of different mechanisms via which PBDEs transfer from source materials to dust, using a plastic TV casing treated with the Deca-BDE formulation as a model source. Experiments at both room temperature and 60°C revealed no detectable transfer of PBDEs from the TV casing to dust via volatilisation and subsequent partitioning. In contrast, substantial transfer of PBDEs to dust was detected when the TV casing was abraded using a magnetic stirrer bar. Rapid and substantial PBDE transfer to dust was also observed in experiments in which dust was placed in direct contact with the source. Based on these experiments, we suggest that for higher molecular weight PBDEs like BDE-209; direct dust:source contact is the principal pathway via which source-to-dust transfer occurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-574
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date4 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Brominated flame retardants
  • Migration pathways to dust
  • PBDEs
  • Test chambers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering


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