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Identification of Environmental Liquid-Crystal Monomers: A Class of New Persistent Organic PollutantsFluorinated Biphenyls and AnaloguesEmitted from E‑Waste Dismantling

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journal contribution
posted on 20.04.2021, 17:38 by Mingshan Zhu, Mingjie Shen, Xinxin Liang, Hui Chen, Chunyou Zhu, Bibai Du, Dan Luo, Shenyu Lan, Zhiqing Feng, Lixi Zeng
Liquid-crystal monomers (LCMs), especially fluorinated biphenyls and analogues (FBAs), are considered to be a new generation of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic organic pollutants, but their emissions from liquid-crystal display (LCD)-associated e-waste dismantling remain unknown. To fill this knowledge gap, a broad range of 46 LCMs, including 39 FBAs and 7 biphenyls/bicyclohexyls and analogues (BAs), were investigated by a dedicated target analysis in e-waste dust samples. Of 39 target FBAs, 34 were detected in LCD dismantling-associated dust. Among these 34 detectable FBAs, 9 were detected in 100% of the samples and 25 were frequently detected in >50% of the samples. The total concentrations of these 34 FBAs (∑34FBAs) detected in LCD e-waste dust were in the range of 225–976,000 (median: 18,500) ng/g, significantly higher than those in non-LCD e-waste dust (range: 292–18,500, median: 2300 ng/g). In addition to FBAs, six of seven BAs were also frequently detected in LCD e-waste dust with total concentrations (∑6BAs) of 29.8–269,000 (median: 3470) ng/g. Very strong and significant correlations (P < 0.01) were identified in all frequently detected LCMs, indicating their common applications and similar sources. Our findings demonstrate that e-waste dismantling contributes elevated emissions of FBAs and BAs to the ambient environment.