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Environmental occurrence and behaviour of the flame retardant decabromodiphenyl ethane
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The environmental occurrence and behaviour of the brominated flame retardant (BFR) decabromodiphenyl ethane (dbdpe) has only been studied to a limited extent. It is structurally similar to decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), which makes it conceivable that dbdpe may also become an environmental contaminant of concern.

A method for environmental analysis and comparative assessments of dbdpe and decaBDE was developed. Both BFRs were studied in: a mass balance of the Henriksdal WWTP in Stockholm (Paper I); an international survey of sewage sludge (Paper II); sediment along a transect from Henriksdal WWTP to the outer archipelago of Stockholm and from isolated Swedish lakes (Paper III); and a benthic food web from the Scheldt estuary (Paper IV).

Dbdpe was found in sludge from every country surveyed, indicating that it may be a worldwide concern. The WWTP mass balance showed that virtually all of the BFRs were transferred from wastewater to sludge. A small fraction was emitted via the effluent, confirming emissions to the aquatic environment. In the marine sediment, the BFR levels close to the WWTP outfall were high. They decreased along the transect to low levels in the outer archipelago. The study of lake sediment showed a widespread presence of dbdpe in the Swedish environment and provided evidence that it originates from long range atmospheric transport. In the food web, dbdpe did bioaccumulate to a small extent which was similar to decaBDE. The transfer of the BFRs from sediment to benthic invertebrates was low, while transfer from prey to predator was higher. Biodilution was observed rather than biomagnification.

This work suggests that the persistence, the susceptibility to long range atmospheric transport, and the potential for bioaccumulation are similar for dbdpe and the regulated decaBDE that it is replacing. Thus, there is a risk that a problematic environmental pollutant is being replaced with a chemical that is equally problematic.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM), Stockholm University , 2010. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
brominated flame retardant, decabromodiphenyl ether, waste water treatment plant, mass balance, sludge, long range transport, atmospheric deposition, bioaccumulation, bioavailability
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34060ISBN: 978-91-7155-997-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-34060DiVA: diva2:284431
Public defence
2010-02-05, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Manuscript. Available from: 2010-01-14 Created: 2010-01-04 Last updated: 2010-01-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Mass balance of decabromodiphenyl ethane and decabromodiphenyl ether in a WWTP
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mass balance of decabromodiphenyl ethane and decabromodiphenyl ether in a WWTP
2008 (English)In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, E-ISSN 1879-1298, Vol. 74, no 3, 389-394 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19045 (URN)10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.09.054 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-02-20 Created: 2009-02-20 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. An international survey of decabromodiphenyl ethane (deBDethane) and decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) in sewage sludge samples
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An international survey of decabromodiphenyl ethane (deBDethane) and decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) in sewage sludge samples
2008 (English)In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, E-ISSN 1879-1298, Vol. 73, no 11, 1799-1804 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keyword
Environmental science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-18971 (URN)10.1016/j.chemosphere.2008.08.047 (DOI)000261600000015 ()
Available from: 2009-02-17 Created: 2009-02-17 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
3. Levels and potential sources of decabromodiphenyl ethane (dbdpe) and decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) in lake sediment and marine sediment in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Levels and potential sources of decabromodiphenyl ethane (dbdpe) and decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) in lake sediment and marine sediment in Sweden
2010 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 44, no 6, 1987-1991 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Decabromodiphenyl ethane (dbdpe) is a brominated flame retardant (BFR) used as a replacement for the structurally similar decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), which is a regulated environmental contaminant of concern. Dbdpe has been found in indoor dust, sewage sludge, sediment and biota, but little is known about its occurrence and distribution in the environment. In this paper, sediment was analyzed from 11 isolated Swedish lakes and along a transect running from central Stockholm through the Stockholm archipelago to the open Baltic Sea. Dbdpe was present in all samples. In lake sediment, the levels ranged from 0.23 to 11 ng/g d.wt. and were very similar to the levels of decaBDE (0.48-11 ng/g d.wt.). Since the lakes have no known point sources of BFRs, their presence in the sediments provides evidence for long range atmospheric transport and deposition. In the marine sediment, the dbdpe and decaBDE levels decreased by a factor of 20-50 over 40 km from the inner harbor to the outer archipelago. There the dbdpe and decaBDE levels were similar to the levels in nearby isolated lakes. The results indicate that contamination of the Swedish environment with dbdpe has already approached that of decaBDE, and that this contamination is primarily occurring via the atmosphere.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34188 (URN)10.1021/es903701q (DOI)
Available from: 2010-01-07 Created: 2010-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Bioaccumulation of decabromodiphenyl ethane (dbdpe) in the Western Scheldt estuary
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bioaccumulation of decabromodiphenyl ethane (dbdpe) in the Western Scheldt estuary
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Decabromodiphenyl ethane (dbdpe) is a brominated flame retardant (BFR) with both a similar chemical structure and similar technical applications to a chemical of recognized environmental concern, decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE). Bioaccumulation has been one of the most controversial issues in the risk assessment of decaBDE, but it has not been measured for dbdpe. During the last several years, dbdpe has been detected in a variety of biota, which suggests that it is bioavailable. In this work, dbdpe was analyzed together with decaBDE in a benthic and pelagic food web in the Western Scheldt estuary, an environment known to be contaminated with the two BFRs. The biota-sediment accumulation factors for benthic invertebrates were low (0.0008-0.005) for both chemicals. This weak bioaccumulation into the lowest trophic levels of the food web may have been due to a poor bioavailability of the BFRs into the estuary. Both chemicals were transferred up through the food web, but biodilution was observed, not biomagnification (BMFs 0.2-0.8). The bioaccumulation behavior of dbdpe was similar to that of decaBDE.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34176 (URN)
Available from: 2010-01-07 Created: 2010-01-07 Last updated: 2010-01-07Bibliographically approved

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