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Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in Surface Soils across Five Asian Countries: Levels, Spatial Distribution, and Source Contribution

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journal contribution
posted on 24.10.2016 by Wen-Long Li, Wan-Li Ma, Hong-Liang Jia, Wen-Jun Hong, Hyo-Bang Moon, Haruhiko Nakata, Nguyen Hung Minh, Ravindra Kumar Sinha, Kai Hsien Chi, Kurunthachalam Kannan, Ed Sverko, Yi-Fan Li
A total of 23 polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners were measured in soil samples collected in areas with no known point source [urban/rural/background (U/R/B) sites] and in areas with known point source [brominated flame retardant (BFR)-related industrial sites (F sites) and e-waste recycling sites (E sites)] across five Asian countries. The highest PBDE concentrations were found in BFR-related industrial and e-waste recycling sites. The concentrations of PBDEs in U/R/B sites decreased in the following order: urban > rural > background sites. Total PBDE concentrations were dominated by BDE-209, while BDE-17, -85, -138, -191, -204, and -205 were the least abundant compounds. In both urban sites and rural sites, the mean concentrations of total PBDEs (∑23BDEs) in soils decreased in the following order: Japan > China > South Korea > India > Vietnam. The concentrations of PBDEs in soils were comparable with those reported in other studies. Among the three commercial PBDE mixtures, relatively large contributions of commercial penta-BDE were observed in Vietnam, whereas deca-BDE was the dominant form in mixtures contributing from 55.8 ± 2.5 to 100.0 ± 1.2% of the total PBDEs in soils collected from other four countries. Regression analysis suggested that local population density (PD) is a good indicator of PBDEs in soils of each country. Significant and positive correlation between soil organic content and PBDE level was observed in Chinese soil for most nondeca-BDE homologues with their usage stopped 10 years ago, indicating its important role in controlling the revolatilization of PBDEs from soil and changing the spatial trend of PBDE in soil from the primary distribution pattern to the secondary distribution pattern, especially when primary emission is ceased.