Levels and trends of PBDEs and HBCDs in the global environment: Status at the end of 2012
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
In this paper, we have compiled and reviewed the most recent literature, published in print or online from January 2010 to December 2012, relating to the human exposure, environmental distribution, behaviour, fate and concentration time trends of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) flame retardants, in order to establish their current trends and priorities for future study. More data are now becoming available for remote areas not previously studied, Indian Ocean islands, for example. Decreasing time trends for penta-mix PBDE congeners were seen for soils in northern Europe, sewage sludge in Sweden and the USA, carp from a US river, trout from three of the Great Lakes and in Arctic and UK marine mammals and many birds, but increasing time trends continue in polar bears and some birds at high trophic levels in northern Europe. This may be partially a result of the time delay inherent in long-range atmospheric transport processes. In general, concentrations of BDE209 (the major component of the deca-mix PBDE product) are continuing to increase. Of major concern is the possible/likely debromination of the large reservoir of BDE209 in soils and sediments worldwide, to yield lower brominated congeners which are both more mobile and more toxic, and we have compiled the most recent evidence for the occurrence of this degradation process. Numerous studies reported here reinforce the importance of this future concern. Time trends for HBCDs are mixed, with both increases and decreases evident in different matrices and locations and, notably, with increasing occurrence in birds of prey. Temporal trends for both PBDEs and HBCD in Asia are unclear currently. A knowledge gap has been noted in relation to metabolism and/or debromination of BDE209 and HBCD in birds. Further monitoring of human exposure and environmental contamination in areas of e-waste recycling, particularly in Asia and Africa, is warranted. More data on temporal trends of BDE and HBCD concentrations in a variety of matrices and locations are needed before the current status of these compounds can be fully assessed, and the impact of regulation and changing usage patterns among different flame retardants determined.
|Number of pages||12|
|Early online date||29 Jan 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2014|