Multimedia Modeling of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Emissions and Fate Indoors

X Zhang, ML Diamond, C Ibarra, Stuart Harrad

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    91 Citations (Scopus)


    We adapted an indoor multimedia fugacity model to consider emissions and fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and to understand the variability of indoor concentrations. The model was applied to an office in which an 80% decrease in PBDE air concentration was observed after an old computer was exchanged with a newer one. PBDE-impregnated polyurethane foam (PUF) and carpet were treated as pseudo-steady-state components with specified fugacities derived from measured concentrations of 173 and 2140 ng.g(-1), respectively. Emission rates of 35 and 5.4 ng.h(-1), for the old and new computers, respectively, were calculated using the pseudo-steady-state approach. Particle movement (deposition and resuspension) dominates within-room transport processes, and dust removal (vacuuming) and air advection (ventilation) are the main loss processes. The most sensitive parameters to air concentrations and estimated emission rates are room temperature, particle concentrations and deposition velocity, and air exchange rates. The air exchange rates and bouncing on PUF furniture can after whether the PUF and carpet are sources or sinks of PBDEs. Model results suggest that exposure via air can be reduced by removing dust, having a high air exchange rate, and low indoor temperatures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2845-2850
    Number of pages6
    JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


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