Sources, emissions, and fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated biphenyls indoors in Toronto, Canada.
ABSTRACT Indoor air concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) measured in 20 locations in Toronto ranged 0.008-16 ng·m(-3) (median 0.071 ng·m(-3)) and 0.8-130.5 ng·m(-3) (median 8.5 ng·m(-3)), respectively. PBDE and PCB air concentrations in homes tended to be lower than that in offices. Principal component analysis of congener profiles suggested that electrical equipment was the main source of PBDEs in locations with higher concentrations, whereas PUF furniture and carpets were likely sources to locations with lower concentrations. PCB profiles in indoor air were similar to Aroclors 1248, 1232, and 1242 and some exterior building sealant profiles. Individual PBDE and PCB congener concentrations in air were positively correlated with colocated dust concentrations, but total PBDE and total PCB concentrations in these two media were not correlated. Equilibrium partitioning between air and dust was further examined using log-transformed dust/air concentration ratios for which lower brominated PBDEs and all PCBs were correlated with K(OA). This was not the case for higher brominated BDEs for which the measured ratios fell below those based on K(OA) suggesting the air-dust partitioning process could be kinetically limited. Total emissions of PBDEs and PCBs to one intensively studied office were estimated at 87-550 ng·h(-1) and 280-5870 ng·h(-1), respectively, using the Multimedia Indoor Model of Zhang et al. Depending on the air exchange rate, up to 90% of total losses from the office could be to outdoors by means of ventilation. These results support the hypotheses that dominant sources of PBDEs differ according to location and that indoor concentrations and hence emissions contribute to outdoor concentrations due to higher indoor than outdoor concentrations along with estimates of losses via ventilation.
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ABSTRACT: Increased use of flame-retardants in office furniture may increase exposure to PBDEs in the office environment. However, partitioning of PBDEs within the office environment is not well understood. Our objectives were to examine relationships between concurrent measures of PBDEs in office air, floor dust, and surface wipes. We collected air, dust, and surface wipe samples from 31 offices in Boston, MA. Correlation and linear regression were used to evaluate associations between variables. Geometric mean (GM) concentrations of individual BDE congeners in air and congener specific octanol-air partition coefficients (Koa) were used to predict GM concentrations in dust and surface wipes and compared to the measured concentrations. GM concentrations of PentaBDEs in office air, dust, and surface wipes were 472pg/m(3), 2411ng/g, and 77pg/cm(2), respectively. BDE209 was detected in 100% of dust samples (GM=4202ng/g), 93% of surface wipes (GM=125pg/cm(2)), and 39% of air samples. PentaBDEs in dust and air were moderately correlated with each other (r=0.60, p=0.0003), as well as with PentaBDEs in surface wipes (r=0.51, p=0.003 for both dust and air). BDE209 in dust was correlated with BDE209 in surface wipes (r=0.69, p=0.007). Building (three categories) and PentaBDEs in dust were independent predictors of PentaBDEs in both air and surface wipes, together explaining 50% (p=0.0009) and 48% (p=0.001) of the variation respectively. Predicted and measured concentrations of individual BDE congeners were highly correlated in dust (r=0.98, p<0.0001) and surface wipes (r=0.94, p=002). BDE209 provided an interesting test of this equilibrium partitioning model as it is a low volatility compound. Associations between PentaBDEs in multiple sampling media suggest that collecting dust or surface wipes may be a convenient method of characterizing exposure in the indoor environment. The volatility of individual congeners, as well as physical characteristics of the indoor environment, influence relationships between PBDEs in air, dust, and surface wipes.Environment international 06/2013; 59C:124-132. · 6.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The distributions of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the atmosphere of Toronto, Canada and the surrounding suburban/rural area were examined. A series of temporally- and spatially-distributed air samples was collected over a 1-year period with a high-volume active air sampler at one downtown site and polyurethane foam passive air samplers at 19 sites. Passive sampler air concentrations of ΣPAHs ranged from 0.27 to 51 ng/m³. Concentrations of ΣPCBs ranged from 6.0 to 1300 pg/m³, and concentrations of ΣPBDEs ranged from 0.47 to 110 pg/m³. All compounds exhibited the highest concentrations in the urban core, and lowest concentrations in the surrounding rural areas, however the exact ratio depended on location since concentrations varied considerably within the city. Results from the application of a radial dilution model highlighted the influence of the central business district (CBD) of the city as a source of contaminants to the surrounding environment, however the radial dilution comparison also demonstrated that sources outside the CBD have a significant influence on regional contaminant concentrations. A strong relationship between temperature and partial pressure of the gas-phase PCBs, low molecular weight PBDEs and less-reactive PAHs suggested that their dominant emissions originated from temperature-controlled processes such as volatilization from local sources of PCBs, PAHs and PBDEs at warm temperatures, condensation and deposition of emissions at cold temperatures, and ventilation of indoor air with elevated concentrations. The relationship between temperature and atmospheric PAH concentrations varied along the urban-rural gradient, which suggested that in highly urbanized areas, such as downtown Toronto, temperature-related processes have a significant impact on air concentrations, whereas winter emissions from domestic heating have a greater influence in areas with less impervious surface coverage.Science of The Total Environment 05/2012; 429:272-80. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this paper, we have compiled and reviewed the most recent literature, published in print or online from January 2010 to December 2012, relating to the human exposure, environmental distribution, behaviour, fate and concentration time trends of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) flame retardants, in order to establish their current trends and priorities for future study. More data are now becoming available for remote areas not previously studied, Indian Ocean islands, for example. Decreasing time trends for penta-mix PBDE congeners were seen for soils in northern Europe, sewage sludge in Sweden and the USA, carp from a US river, trout from three of the Great Lakes and in Arctic and UK marine mammals and many birds, but increasing time trends continue in polar bears and some birds at high trophic levels in northern Europe. This may be partially a result of the time delay inherent in long-range atmospheric transport processes. In general, concentrations of BDE209 (the major component of the deca-mix PBDE product) are continuing to increase. Of major concern is the possible/likely debromination of the large reservoir of BDE209 in soils and sediments worldwide, to yield lower brominated congeners which are both more mobile and more toxic, and we have compiled the most recent evidence for the occurrence of this degradation process. Numerous studies reported here reinforce the importance of this future concern. Time trends for HBCDs are mixed, with both increases and decreases evident in different matrices and locations and, notably, with increasing occurrence in birds of prey. Temporal trends for both PBDEs and HBCD in Asia are unclear currently. A knowledge gap has been noted in relation to metabolism and/or debromination of BDE209 and HBCD in birds. Further monitoring of human exposure and environmental contamination in areas of e-waste recycling, particularly in Asia and Africa, is warranted. More data on temporal trends of BDE and HBCD concentrations in a variety of matrices and locations are needed before the current status of these compounds can be fully assessed, and the impact of regulation and changing usage patterns among different flame retardants determined.Environment international 01/2014; 65C:147-158. · 6.25 Impact Factor