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Personal air sampling and analysis of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and other bromine containing compounds at an electronic recycling facility in Sweden
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6217-8857
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7338-2079
2004 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Monitoring, ISSN 1464-0325, E-ISSN 1464-0333, Vol. 6, no 11, p. 874-880Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) have been used extensively and are considered ubiquitous contaminants. To evaluate exposure to brominated flame retardants within an electronic recycling facility personal air monitoring was done during a two year period. A total of 22 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and 2 other bromine containing organic compounds have been analysed and evaluated in 17 personal air samples. The most abundant congeners of PBDE was #209 (<0.7-61 ng m(-3)), #183 (<0.1-32 ng m(-3)) indicating the use of the commercial octaBDE mixture, followed by PBDE #99 and #47 (<1.3-25 and <0.9-16 ng m(-3), respectively). The second most abundant peak in the chromatogram from all samples was identified as 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenyxy)ethane (BTBPE) in the concentration range <0.6-39 ng m(-3) (semi-quantitatively calculated against PBDE #191). A second bromine containing compound was also detected, structurally similar to decabromodiphenyl ethane (DeBDethane), however no definite identification could be made. The air samples were also evaluated on a work exposure category basis. The workers represented three different categories: dismantlers, other workers and unexposed. There was a significant difference (p < 0.05 with the Mann-Whitney test) among the dismantlers and the unexposed categories for PBDE congeners #47, #100, #99, #154; #153, #183, #209 and BTBPE. Another observation was that the air concentrations of PBDEs and BTBPE in the breathing zone were negatively correlated (p < 0.05) to the amount of recycled material ( in kg). The present work shows that the exposure to brominated flame retardants varied within the electronic facility and that further research is needed to evaluate how the exposure differs with different products being dismantled as well as how the bioavailability of the different BFRs to humans is related to particle exposure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 6, no 11, p. 874-880
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Enviromental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3222DOI: 10.1039/B408381DOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-3222DiVA, id: diva2:137430
Available from: 2004-11-26 Created: 2004-11-26 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exposure to brominated flame retardants in electronics recycling: air and human plasma levels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exposure to brominated flame retardants in electronics recycling: air and human plasma levels
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE) and 1,2-bis(2,3,4,5,6-pentabromophenyl)ethane (DeBDethane) were analysed in air and blood samples from workers at an electronics recycling facility. The samples were collected regularly for 18 months and were analysed by isomer specific GC/MS analysis in both electron impact (EI) and negative chemical ionisation (NCI) mode.

In addition, triiodotyronine (T3), thyroxin (T4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were monitored and put in relation to the workers’ PBDE concentration in blood.

Breathing zone air samples showed that the electronics dismantlers were highly exposed to PBDE #209 in comparison with other workers in the facility (30 ng/m3 and 8 ng/m3, respectively). However, for BTBPE and the other PBDE congeners no such difference was found. It was also shown that when dismantling small electronic products (computers and household electronics) the air levels were higher than when dismantling

larger products (photocopiers). Monitoring dust fractions (“total dust”, inhalable dust and respirable dust) revealed that the PBDE #209 concentration was more than ten times higher in the inhalable dust fraction than the traditionally used “total dust” fraction (“total” 15 ng/m3, inhalable 192 ng/m3), which was not the case for the other BFRs.

The sampler for inhalable dust collects particles of larger size more efficiently than the “total” dust sampler. PBDE #209 was found to bind to a higher extent to larger particles in the air. However, PBDE #209 was also present in the respirable fraction (3.1 ng/m3) that reaches the alveolar region in the lungs, making it available for uptake.

The levels of PBDEs detected in the workers’ blood were within the range of the general population in Sweden, except for PBDE #183 and #209 which were slightly elevated (1.2 pmol/g l.w. and 5.7 pmol/g l.w., respectively) among the dismantlers. No clinical effect could be seen on the thyroid hormone status in the workers, caused by the PBDE concentration. Steady state blood concentration estimations based on levels in the respirable dust fraction suggested that the increase for PBDE #209 was due to occupational air-borne dust.

To study biological samples with high levels of PBDEs to identify possible metabolites from PBDEs and other bromine containing compounds, whales from the Mediterranean Sea were analysed. PBDEs were found at high concentrations in the range of 66-8100 ng/g l.w.. Three methoxylated tetraBDEs (MeO-TeBDE) were identified in the whale samples at a range of 2-630 ng/g l.w.. Several unidentified organobromine compounds were also detected in the whales.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2004. p. 73
Series
Örebro Studies in Environmental Science, ISSN 1650-6278 ; 5
Keyword
PBDE, BTBPE, DeBDethane, Thyroid hormone, Occupational exposure, Human plasma, Air sampling, MeO-PBDE, PBDE, BTBPE, DeBDetan, Sköldkörtelhormon, Yrkesexponering, Human plasma, Luftprovtagning, MeO-PBDE
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Enviromental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-91 (URN)91-7668-422-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-12-17, Hörsal P 2, Prismahuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-11-26 Created: 2004-11-26 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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van Bavel, BertEngwall, Magnus

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