American Chemical Society
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Scenarios of Temporal and Spatial Evolution of Hexabromocyclododecane in the North Sea

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-06-15, 00:00 authored by Tatiana Ilyina, René W. Hunziker
Spatial and temporal distribution of the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in the North Sea was examined for the period from 1995 to 2005 using a pollutant transport model FANTOM. Model calculations allow conclusions on relevant sinks and fluxes in and out of the North Sea and on the time needed to establish a steady state. Calculations were performed for two additional scenarios with different rates of primary degradation ranging from fast degrading to absolute persistency. Concentrations calculated in the scenarios with degradation are in line with the monitoring data available for HBCD. Concentrations calculated in the “persistent” scenario disagree with measured data. According to our model calculations, steady state is established within months for the water and the top layer sediment with no evidence for a temporal trend, except for the “persistent” scenario, in which concentrations increase continuously in the southeastern part of the North Sea, where hydrographic and circulation characteristics produce areas of converging currents. Our model study enables a better understanding of the fate of HBCD in the North Sea, its potential for transport and overall elimination. We discuss these findings in the light of different concerns for PBT substances.