Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in English freshwater lakes, 2008-2012

Congqiao Yang, Stuart Harrad, Mohamed Abou-Elwafa Abdallah, Jennifer Desborough, Neil L Rose, Simon D Turner, Thomas A Davidson, Ben Goldsmith

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Concentrations of tri-to-hexa-BDEs were determined in water samples taken from 9 English lakes on 13 occasions between April 2008 and February 2012. Across all sites, concentrations of ΣBDEs in individual samples ranged from 9.2 to 171.5pgL(-)(1), with an average of 61.9pgL(-)(1). Notwithstanding the far greater use of the Penta-BDE commercial formulation in the USA, concentrations in this study are comparable to the limited data available for the Great Lakes. PBDE concentrations showed no evidence of a decline at any monitored location over the study period. This may be because this study commenced 4years after the introduction of restrictions on the Penta- and Octa-BDE formulations. While concentrations normalised to water volume at the different locations were statistically indistinguishable; significant spatial variation was apparent when the data were normalised to total suspended solids (TSS) content. However, this spatial variation was not correlated with factors such as population density and lake catchment area, suggesting that concentrations of PBDEs in lake water in this study are a complex integral of numerous factors. BDE-47:99 ratios and concentrations of ΣBDEs respectively decreased and increased significantly with increasing TSS content. As TSS content was elevated in colder compared with warmer periods, such seasonal variation in TSS content appears a major contributor to the observed elevation of ΣBDE concentrations in colder periods, and higher BDE-47:99 ratios in warmer periods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-7
Number of pages7
Early online date22 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • PBDEs
  • Lake water
  • Temporal
  • Seasonal
  • Spatial
  • TSS


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