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Emissions and fate of brominated flame retardants in the indoor environment: A critical review of modelling approaches
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM). IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Applied Environmental Science (ITM).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7035-8660
2014 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 491, 87-99 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This review explores the existing understanding and the available approaches to estimating the emissions and fate of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and in particular focuses on the brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Volatilisation, an important emission mechanism for the more volatile compounds can be well described using current emission models. More research is needed, however, to better characterise alternative release mechanisms such as direct material-particle partitioning and material abrasion. These two particle-mediated emissions are likely to result in an increased chemical release from the source than can be accounted for by volatilisation, especially for low volatile compounds, and emission models need to be updated in order to account for these. Air-surface partitioning is an important fate process for SVOCs such as BFRs however it is still not well characterised indoors. In addition, the assumption of an instantaneous air-particle equilibrium adopted by current indoor fate models might not be valid for high-molecular weight, strongly sorbing compounds. A better description of indoor particle dynamics is required to assess the effect of particle-associated transport as this will control the fate of low volatile BFRs. We suggest further research steps that will improve modelling Precision and increase our understanding of the factors that govern the indoor fate of a wide range of SVOCs. It is also considered that the appropriateness of the selected model for a given study relies on the individual characteristics of the study environment and scope of the study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 491, 87-99 p.
Keyword [en]
BFRs, SVOCs, Emissions, Indoor fate, Multimedia models, Deposition
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107096DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.02.005ISI: 000339534700013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107096DiVA: diva2:743950
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2014-09-05 Created: 2014-09-03 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Indoor emissions and fate of flame retardants: A modelling approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Indoor emissions and fate of flame retardants: A modelling approach
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A significant number of consumer goods and building materials act as emission sources of flame retardants (FRs) in the indoor environment. As a result, FRs have become ubiquitous indoors raising concerns about human exposure and possible health implications. Once released indoors, FRs can escape to the outdoors where they can persist, be transported over long distances and present a threat to the environment. Despite the increasing number of studies reporting the occurrence of FRs in the indoor environment, the understanding of i) how and to what extent these chemicals are released from indoor sources, and ii) their subsequent fate indoors remains limited. The overarching objective of this thesis was to improve this understanding by assessing the indoor emissions and fate of FRs using a combination of multimedia modelling strategies and experimental/empirical approaches. Paper I identifies a number of knowledge gaps and limitations regarding indoor emissions and fate of FRs and the available modelling approaches. These include a limited understanding of the key emission mechanisms for low volatility FRs, uncertainties regarding indoor air/surface partitioning, poor characterization of dust and film dynamics and a significant lack of knowledge regarding indoor reaction/degradation processes. In Paper II we highlighted the serious scarcity in physicochemical property data for the alternative FRs and demonstrated the applicability of a simple QSPR technique for selecting reliable property estimates for chemical assessments. A modelling fate assessment indicated a strong partitioning to indoor surfaces and dust for most of the alternative FRs. Indications for POP (persistent organic pollutant)-like persistence and LRT (long-range transport) and bioaccumulative potential in the outdoor environment were also identified for many alternative FRs. Using an inverse modelling approach in Paper III we estimated 2 to 3 orders of magnitude higher emissions of organophosphate FRs (0.52 and 0.32 ng.h-1) than brominated FRs (0.083 μg.h-1 and 0.41 μg.h-1) in Norwegian households. An emission-to-dust signal was also identified for organophosphate FRs suggesting that direct migration to dust may be a key fate process indoors. No evidence of a direct source-to-dust transfer mechanism was seen in Paper IV where the chemical transfer between a product treated with an organophosphate FR and dust in direct contact was experimentally investigated. It was concluded though that direct contact between an FR source and dust can result in contamination hotspots indoors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry, Stockholm University, 2016
Keyword
flame retardants, BFRs, OPFRs, indoor environment, emissions, fate, modelling
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Applied Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-127258 (URN)978-91-7649-341-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-04-08, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 264600
Note

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

Available from: 2016-03-16 Created: 2016-02-29 Last updated: 2017-02-20Bibliographically approved

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