Recent findings of halogenated flame retardants (HFR) in the German and Polar environment

2019, Journals

Dreyer, Annekatrin; Neugebauer, Frank; Lohmann, Nina; Rüdel, Heinz; Teubner, Diana; Grotti, Marco; Rauert, Caren; Koschorreck, Jan
Environmental Pollution 253 (2019), 850-863; available online 17 July 2019


To get an overview about distribution, levels and temporal trends of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) and halogenated flame retardants (HFR) of emerging concern, different types of environmental samples archived in the German Environment Specimen Bank as well as fish filet samples from the Arctic (n = 13) and Antarctica (n = 5) were analysed for 43 substances (24 PBDE, 19 HFR) using a multi-column clean-up and GC-API-MS/MS or GC-MS. Sample types were herring gull egg (n = 3), blue mussel (n = 3) and eelpout filet (n = 3) from the German North- and Baltic Sea, bream filet (n = 7), zebra mussel (n = 6) and suspended particulate matter (SPM, n = 7) from German freshwater ecosystems as well as tree leaves (n = 9)/shoots (n = 10), soil (n = 4), earthworm (n = 4) and deer liver (n = 7) as representatives of German terrestrial ecosystems. PBDE and emerging HFR were present in each investigated matrices from Germany and Polar regions showing their widespread distribution. The presence in Arctic and Antarctic fish samples confirms their long-range transport potential. Average concentrations of total emerging HFR were highest in SPM (26 ng g-1 dry weight (dw)), zebra mussel (10 ng g-1 dw) and herring gull egg (2.6 ng g-1 dw). Lowest levels were measured in fish filet samples from Antarctica (0.02 ng g-1 dw). Average total PBDE concentrations were highest in bream filet (154 ng g-1), herring gull egg (61 ng g-1 dw), SPM (21 ng g-1 dw), and zebra mussel 18 (ng g-1) and lowest in deer liver (0.04 ng g-1 dw). The patterns of non-fauna terrestrial samples (leaves, shoots, soil) as well as SPM were dominated by DBDPE and BDE209. Elevated proportions of DPTE and in most cases the absence of DBDPE characterized all fauna samples with the exception of Polar samples. Overall, emerging HFR appeared to be less bioaccumulative than PBDE. Temporal trends were generally decreasing with few exceptions such as DBDPE.

doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.07.070