Decabromodiphenylether trends in the European environment: bird eggs, sewage sludge and surficial sediments

Leslie, Heather A.; Brandsma, Sicco H.; Barber, Jonathan L.; Gabrielsen, Geir W.; Bersuder, Philippe; Barry, Jon; Shore, Richard F.; Walker, Lee A.; de Boer, Jacob. 2021 Decabromodiphenylether trends in the European environment: bird eggs, sewage sludge and surficial sediments. Science of the Total Environment, 774, 145174. 9, pp.

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Concern on relatively high levels and the potential bioaccumulation of decabromodiphenylether (BDE209) has led to a European 8-year monitoring program on trends in BDE209 concentrations in birds, sewage sludge and sediments from seven countries. BDE209 was analysed in four environmental matrices: sparrowhawk eggs (UK), glaucous gull eggs (Bear Island, Norway), sewage sludge (UK, Ireland and the Netherlands) and sediment (France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK and Ireland). BDE209 was detected in most of the glaucous gull and sparrow hawk eggs but neither increasing nor decreasing trends in these BDE209 levels were observed. An indication for debromination of BDE209 in sparrowhawk eggs was found. BDE209 concentrations in sediments ranged from very low ng/g (88 ng/g on an organic carbon (OC) basis) concentrations, in the rivers Elbe, Ems, Seine and the Outer Humber, to high μg/g (120 μg/g OC), in the Western Scheldt, Liverpool Bay and River Mersey. Apart from decreasing values in the Western Scheldt sediment no further decreases in BDE209 concentrations were observed over time, neither in sediment nor in sewage sludge showing that the voluntary emissions control program of the bromine industry only had a local effect. In contrast to the sewage sludge samples from the Netherlands (mean 355 ng/g dry weight (dw) or 1026 ng/g OC), the BDE209 concentrations in the UK increased at all sites from 2006 to 2011 (8092 ng/g dw or 22,367 ng/g OC). The BDE209 levels in several UK sediments and sewage sludge were still very high at the end of the program in 2012, most likely caused by frequent use of BDE209 in the textile industry. This may be indicative of the persistence of BDE209 and the limited degradation into lower brominated congeners in sediment, although it cannot be excluded that ongoing BDE209 emissions have played a role as well.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pollution (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: decabromodiphenylether, Europe, bird eggs, sewage sludge, sediment, time trends
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 18 Feb 2021 17:10 +0 (UTC)

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