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Analytical and environmental aspects of the flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol-A and its derivatives

Covaci, Adrian, Voorspoels, Stefan, Abdallah, Mohamed Abou-Elwafa, Geens, Tinne, Harrad, Stuart, Law, Robin J.
Journal of chromatography 2009 v.1216 no.3 pp. 346-363
European Union, chromatography, flame retardants, humans, mass spectrometry, quality control, risk, risk assessment
The present article reviews the available literature on the analytical and environmental aspects of tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBP-A), a currently intensively used brominated flame retardant (BFR). Analytical methods, including sample preparation, chromatographic separation, detection techniques, and quality control are discussed. An important recent development in the analysis of TBBP-A is the growing tendency for liquid chromatographic techniques. At the detection stage, mass-spectrometry is a well-established and reliable technology in the identification and quantification of TBBP-A. Although interlaboratory exercises for BFRs have grown in popularity in the last 10 years, only a few participating laboratories report concentrations for TBBP-A. Environmental levels of TBBP-A in abiotic and biotic matrices are low, probably due to the major use of TBBP-A as reactive FR. As a consequence, the expected human exposure is low. This is in agreement with the EU risk assessment that concluded that there is no risk for humans concerning TBBP-A exposure. Much less analytical and environmental information exists for the various groups of TBBP-A derivatives which are largely used as additive flame retardants.