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Occurrence and potential human exposure to brominated flame retardants at a Swedish smelter handling electronic scrap
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Environmental Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Environmental Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Environmental Chemistry.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Environmental Chemistry.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

National Category
Analytical Chemistry Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95827OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-95827DiVA: diva2:661742
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2013-11-08
In thesis
1. Synthesis of organobromines as a tool for their characterisation and environmental occurrence assessment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Synthesis of organobromines as a tool for their characterisation and environmental occurrence assessment
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been intensively used as flame retardants (FRs) and have become ubiquitous environmental pollutants. PBDEs form hydroxylated PBDEs (OH-PBDEs) as metabolites. Further, some OH-PBDEs and methoxy-PBDEs (MeO-PBDEs) are natural products. These are all compounds of environmental and health concern and it is therefore important to confirm their identity and to assess their environmental levels and toxicities. Hence, it is vital to obtain authentic reference standards of individual PBDEs and OH/MeO-PBDEs. The thesis main aim was to develop synthesis methods of congener specific PBDEs, OH- and MeO-PBDEs. The second aim was to identify and quantify PBDEs, OH- and MeO-PBDEs in environmental samples. The third was to propose an abbreviation system for FRs.

O-Arylation of brominated phenols, using either symmetrical or unsymmetrical brominated diphenyliodonium salts, was selected for synthesis of PBDEs and OH-/MeO-PBDEs. A total of 16 MeO-PBDEs, 11 OH-PBDEs, 1 diMeO-PBDE and 1 EtO-MeO-PBDE were synthesised. Three novel unsymmetrical diaryliodonium triflates were synthesised and used in synthesis. Optimisations were made to construct a reliable general method for congener specific PBDE synthesis, which was used in the synthesis of 8 representative PBDE congeners. The products were generally characterised by electron ionisation mass spectrometry (EIMS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Identification of PBDEs and OH-PBDEs in various matrixes was based on gas chromatographic and mass spectrometric analyses. Fourteen OH-PBDE congeners were identified in a pooled human blood sample. One previously uncharacterised natural PBDE analogue was identified as 6-OH-6’-MeO-BDE-194, and quantified in Swedish blue mussels. PBDE congeners and other BFRs were identified and quantified in workers and dust from a smelter in Sweden.

A structured and practical abbreviation system was developed for halogen- and phosphorus containing FRs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Stockholm University, 2013. 85 p.
Keyword
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, Brominated diphenyliodoniums salts, PBDEs, OH-PBDEs, MeO-PBDEs, Synthesis, Analysis, Abbreviations, Metabolites, Marine natural products, E-waste, Brominated flameretardants
National Category
Other Chemistry Topics
Research subject
Environmental Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95649 (URN)978-91-7447-800-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-12, Stora hörsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Formas, 2009-1297Formas, 2009-1309Formas, 2009-1303
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Submitted. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-11-20 Created: 2013-10-31 Last updated: 2013-11-08Bibliographically approved

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