Occurrence and potential human exposure to brominated flame retardants at a Swedish smelter handling electronic scrap
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Some well-known brominated flame retardants are common in electronic and electric devices, i.e. polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), nowadays particularly the commercial DecaBDE, and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), but others are used as well. The PBDEs are ubiquitous environmental contaminants while the TBBPA is primarily reported as a contaminant of the abiotic compartments. In this study, personnel at a smelter handling large quantities of shredded printed circuit boards were assessed for potential elevated concentrations of PBDEs, TBBPA and other BFRs. Also dust, sampled at a few sites around the plant, was analysed for BFRs. The dominating BFRs in the dust were decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) and TBBPA, while intermediate levels were indicated for bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) and hexabromobenzene (HBB) and only low concentrations of decabromobiphenyl (BB-209) and 2,4,6-tribromophenol (2,4,6-TBP). The workers all showed similar concentrations of the PBDE congeners in serum as recently determined for a Swedish control group. TBBPA was below limit of detection while 2,3,4,6-tetrabromophenol was present in all workers at rather high concentrations. It is yet not known from where this exposure originate, since the compound is not related to BFRs in the dust from the electronic scrap. It is clear that the workers are well protected from the emissions from the printed circuit boards, even though the volumes of electronic scrap handled at the smelter has increased significantly.
Analytical Chemistry Environmental Sciences
Research subject Environmental Chemistry
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95827OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-95827DiVA: diva2:661742