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Brominated flame retardants (BFRs): A review on environmental contamination in China

Yu, Gang, Bu, Qingwei, Cao, Zhiguo, Du, Xinming, Xia, Jing, Wu, Min, Huang, Jun
Chemosphere 2016 v.150 pp. 479-490
bioaccumulation, ecotoxicology, electronics, flame retardants, human health, humans, occupational exposure, pollution, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, trophic levels, waste disposal, China
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) which were detected extensively in environmental and biota samples worldwide, have raised significant concerns during past decades for their persistence, bioaccumulation and potential toxicity to ecological environment and human health. In this paper, we have compiled and reviewed existing literature on the contamination status of BFRs in abiotic and biotic environments in China, including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecane, tetrabromobisphenol A and new BFRs. Temporal trends were also summarized and evaluated. Based on this review, it has been concluded that (1) high concentrations of PBDEs were generally related to the e-waste disposal processing, while the spatial distribution pattern of other BFRs was not necessarily in accordance with this; (2) extremely high concentrations of BFRs in indoor dust emphasized the importance of indoor contamination to human body burdens, while more work need to be done to confirm its contribution; (3) PBDEs in electronics dismantling workers were higher compared to the general population, indicating the occupational exposure should be of particular concern; (4) more data are now becoming available for BFRs in aquatic and terrestrial organisms not previously studied, while studies that consider the occurrence of BFRs in organisms of different trophic levels are still of urgent need for evaluating the fate of BFRs in the food web; and (5) limited data showed a decreasing trend for PBDEs, while more data on time trends of BFR contamination in various matrices and locations are still needed before the impact of regulation of BFRs can be assessed.