Hexabromocyclododecanes, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and polychlorinated biphenyls in radiometrically dated sediment cores from English lakes, ~1950-present

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Congqiao Yang
  • Neil L Rose
  • Handong Yang
  • Ben Goldsmith
  • Sara Losada
  • Jonathan L Barber

Colleges, School and Institutes


This paper reports input fluxes between ~1950 and present, of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) in radiometrically-dated sediment cores from 7 English lakes. Fluxes of PCBs at all but one location prone to significant sediment resuspension peaked in the late-1960s/early-1990s, before declining thereafter. Input fluxes of HBCDs at all sites increased from first emergence in the mid-1960s. Thereafter, fluxes peaked in the late-1980s/early-2000s, before declining through to the present, except at the most urban site where HBCD fluxes are still increasing. Trends of PBDEs predominant in the Penta-BDE and Octa-BDE formulations vary between sites. While at some locations, fluxes peaked in the late-1990s/early-2000s; at others, fluxes are still increasing. This suggests the full impact of EU restrictions on these formulations has yet to be felt. Fluxes of BDE-209 have yet to peak at all except one location, suggesting little discernible environmental response to recent EU restrictions on the Deca-BDE product. Strikingly, fluxes of BDE-209 in the most recent core slices either exceed or approach peak fluxes of ΣPCBs, implying substantial UK use of Deca-BDE. Excepting HBCDs, inventories of our target contaminants correlated significantly with local population density, implying substantial urban sources.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-728
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date2 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2016