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Occurrence and Concentrations of Halogenated Flame Retardants in the Atmospheric Fine Particles in Chinese Cities TEXT SIZE: A A A

The concentrations of halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) in PM2.5 were monitored for one year at 10 urban sites in China during 2013-2014. This study investigated four classes of HFRs: nine polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), six nonbromodiphenyl ether (BDE) brominated flame retardants, two dechlorane plus (DP) flame retardants, and three chlorinated organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs). Extremely high concentrations of BDE-209 and DBDPE were observed in only one city (Guangzhou), which was a consequence of the intensive e-waste recycling and disposal operations in the Pearl River Delta. This result differed from the tris(monochloropropyl) phosphate (TCPP) and tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) distributions, which showed high concentrations in most cities, suggesting wide usage and large emissions in China in recent years. The highest TCPP and TCEP concentrations were observed in the summer, indicating that emission from local sources was an important factor controlling the levels in the air. This was not the case for BDE-209 and DBDPE, for which higher concentrations were found in winter. When bound to particulate matter due to low vapor pressure, these compounds may be more persistent in air, and temperature-dependent gas-particle partitioning was a key factor. Moreover, regional pollution and long-range transport had a significant influence on the seasonal distributions of BDE-209 and DBDPE, especially in cities (Guangzhou and Shanghai) close to electrical/electronic waste recycling sites. Residents in urban areas were exposed to higher levels of chlorinated OPFRs. This raises considerable concern, and an appropriate risk assessment is required.

Publication name

 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 50 (18):9846-9854; 10.1021/acs.est.6b01685 SEP 20 2016


 Liu, Di; Lin, Tian; Shen, Kaijun; Li, Jun; Yu, Zhigiang; Zhang, Gan

Corresponding author 

 LIN Tian 
 Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Geochem, State Key Lab Environm Geochem, Guiyang 550081, Peoples R China.

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