Concentrations and emissions of polybrominated diphenyl ethers from U.S. houses and garages.
ABSTRACT Concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have been rapidly increasing in fish, birds, sediments, indoor environments, and humans, but emission sources and exposure pathways of these pollutants remain poorly understood. The many BFR-containing materials in buildings constitute a large reservoir of these compounds, and in-use releases from this reservoir may be a significant environmental source. To estimate in-use releases from building materials and contents in residences, we monitored 12 houses and garages in two seasons and combined measurements of BFRs in air and settled dust, air exchange rates, and other information in an approach that utilized the building as a "natural" test chamber. Results were scaled to provide a first estimate of aggregate emission rates from U.S. houses. PBDE releases total about 4 microg h(-1) per house or 20 ng m(-2) h(-1), and U.S. houses and garages collectively release about 4100 kg y(-1). Most of these releases are settled floor dust, but about 20% are released directly to the ambient environment via airborne vapor and particulate matter. These screening-level estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty, but they have an advantage in that they reflect real-world conditions based on mass balance calculations.
Article: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in marine ecosystems of the American continents: foresight from current knowledge.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of synthetic halogenated organic compounds used in commercial and household products, such as textiles, furniture, and electronics, to increase their flame ignition resistance and to meet fire safety standards. The demonstrated persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxic potential of these compounds in animals and in humans are of increasing concern. The oceans are considered global sinks for PBDEs, as higher levels are found in marine organisms than in terrestrial biota. For the past three decades, North America has dominated the world market demand for PBDEs, consuming 95% of the penta-BDE formulation. Accordingly, the PBDE concentrations in marine biota and people from North America are the highest in the world and are increasing. Despite recent restrictions on penta- and octa-BDE commercial formulations, penta-BDE containing products will remain a reservoir for PBDE release for years to come, and the deca-BDE formulation is still in high-volume use. In this paper, we review all available data on the occurrence and trends of PBDEs in the marine ecosystems (air, water, sediments, invertebrates, fish, seabirds, and marine mammals) of North and South America. We outline here our concerns about the potential future impacts of large existing stores of banned PBDEs in consumer products, and the vast and growing reservoirs of deca-BDE as well as new and naturally occurring brominated compounds on marine ecosystems.Reviews on environmental health 24(3):157-229.