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Bioaccumulation of decabromodiphenyl ethane (dbdpe) in the Western Scheldt estuary
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).
(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: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34176OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-34176DiVA: diva2:284462
Available from: 2010-01-07 Created: 2010-01-07 Last updated: 2010-01-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Environmental occurrence and behaviour of the flame retardant decabromodiphenyl ethane
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental occurrence and behaviour of the flame retardant decabromodiphenyl ethane
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
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:nbn:se:su:diva-34060 (URN)978-91-7155-997-5 (ISBN)
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

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