Photolysis of brominated flame retardants in textiles exposed to natural sunlight

N. Kajiwara, J. Desborough, S. Harrad, H. Takigami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Photolytic transformation profiles of technical hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and technical decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE) in flame-retarded textiles exposed to natural sunlight were compared. Textiles that contained approximately 4% HBCDs by weight showed no substantial loss of any of the HBCD diastereomers during the entire exposure period (371 days), indicating that they were resistant to sunlight, that is, that debromination and isomerization of HBCD diastereomers did not occur under the experimental conditions. Exposure of a textile treated with technical DecaBDE resulted in the formation of polybrominated dibenzofurans (PBDFs) as products of photodecomposition of polybrominated diphenyl ethers present in the technical DecaBDE. After 329 days of exposure, the total PBDF concentration reached a maximum of 27-000 ng g , which was approximately 10 times the initial concentration. During the experiment, di- to hexa-BDF congener concentrations increased continuously. Although the concentrations of PBDFs in the textiles were 4-5 orders of magnitude lower than the concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, it is important to note that PBDFs were formed as a result of sunlight exposure during normal use of products treated with technical DecaBDE. This journal is
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-660
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science Processes and Impacts
Issue number3
Early online date31 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


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