Identifying transfer mechanisms and sources of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE 209) in indoor environments using environmental forensic microscopy.
ABSTRACT Although the presence of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in house dust has been linked to consumer products, the mechanism of transfer remains poorly understood. We conjecture that volatilized PBDEs will be associated with dust particles containing organic matter and will be homogeneously distributed in house dust. In contrast, PBDEs arising from weathering or abrasion of polymers should remain bound to particles of the original polymer matrix and will be heterogeneously distributed within the dust. We used scanning electron microscopy and othertools of environmental forensic microscopy to investigate PBDEs in dust, examining U.S. and U.K. dust samples with extremely high levels of BDE 209 (260-2600 microg/g), a nonvolatile compound at room temperature. We found that the bromine in these samples was concentrated in widely scattered, highly contaminated particles. In the house dust samples from Boston (U.S.), bromine was associated with a polymer/organic matrix. These results suggest that the BDE 209 was transferred to dust via physical processes such as abrasion or weathering. In conjunction with more traditional tools of environmental chemistry, such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), environmental forensic microscopy provides novel insights into the origins of BDE 209 in dust and their mechanisms of transfer from products.
Article: Relationships between polybrominated diphenyl ether concentrations in house dust and serum.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been measured in the home environment and in humans, but studies linking environmental levels to body burdens are limited. This study examines the relationship between PBDE concentrations in house dust and serum from adults residing in these homes. We measured PBDE concentrations in house dust from 50 homes and in serum of male-female couples from 12 of the homes. Detection rates, dust-serum, and within-matrix correlations varied by PBDE congener. There was a strong correlation (r = 0.65-0.89, p < 0.05) between dust and serum concentrations of several predominant PBDE congeners (BDE 47, 99, and 100). Dust and serum levels of BDE 153 were not correlated (r < 0.01). The correlation of dust and serum levels of BDE 209 could not be evaluated due to low detection rates of BDE 209 in serum. Serum concentrations of the sum of BDE 47, 99, and 100 were also strongly correlated within couples (r = 0.85, p = 0.0005). This study provides evidence that house dust is a primary exposure pathway of PBDEs and supports the use of dust PBDE concentrations as a marker for exposure to PBDE congeners other than BDE 153.Environmental Science and Technology 07/2010; 44(14):5627-32. · 5.23 Impact Factor