The Environmental Fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in western Taiwan and coastal waters: evaluation with a fugacity based model

Kieran O'Driscoll, Jill Robinson, Wen-Son Chiang, Yang-Yih Chen, Rory Doherty

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    Abstract

    The environmental fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a group of flame retardants that are considered to be persistent organic pollutants (POPs), around the Zhuoshui River and Changhua County regions of Taiwan was assessed. An investigation into emissions, partitioning, and fate of selected PBDEs was conducted based on the equilibrium constant (EQC) fugacity model developed at Trent University, Canada. Emissions for congeners PBDE 47, PBDE 99, and PBDE 209 to air (4.9–92 × 10−3 kg/h), soil (0.91–17.4 × 10−3 kg/h), and water (0.21–4.04 × 10−3 kg/h), were estimated by modifying previous models on PBDE emission rates by considering both industrial and domestic rates. It was found that fugacity modeling can give a reasonable estimation of the behavior, partitioning, and concentrations of PBDE congeners in and around Taiwan. Results indicate that PBDE congeners have a high affinity for partitioning into sediments then soils. As congener number decreases, the PBDEs then partition more readily into air. As the degree of bromination increases, congeners more readily partition to sediments. Sediments may then act as a long-term source of PBDEs which can be released back into the water column due to resuspension during storm events.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13222-13234
    Number of pages13
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
    Volume23
    Issue number13
    Early online date29 Mar 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

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