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Aquatic bioaccumulation and trophic transfer of tetrabromobisphenol-A flame retardant introduced from a typical e-waste recycling site

Tao, Lin, Wu, Jiang-Ping, Zhi, Hui, Zhang, Ying, Ren, Zi-He, Luo, Xiao-Jun, Mai, Bi-Xian
Environmental science and pollution research international 2016 v.23 no.14 pp. 14663-14670
aquatic food webs, aquatic invertebrates, bioaccumulation factor, correlation, electronic wastes, fish, flame retardants, liquid chromatography, nitrogen, recycling, stable isotopes, tandem mass spectrometry, trophic levels, China
While the flame retardant chemical, tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBP-A), has been frequently detected in the environment, knowledge regarding its species-specific bioaccumulation and trophic transfer is limited, especially in the highly contaminated sites. In this study, the components of an aquatic food web, including two invertebrates, two prey fish, and one predator fish, collected from a natural pond at an electronic waste (e-waste) recycling site in South China were analyzed for TBBP-A, using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The aquatic species had TBBP-A concentrations ranging from 350 to 1970 pg/g wet weight, with higher concentrations in the invertebrates relative to the fish species. Field-determined bioaccumulation factors of TBBP-A in the two aquatic invertebrates were nearly or greater than 5000, suggesting that TBBP-A is highly bioaccumulative in the two species. The lipid-normalized concentrations of TBBP-A in the aquatic species were negatively correlated with the trophic levels determined from stable nitrogen isotope (δ¹⁵N) (r = −0.82, p = 0.09), indicating that this compound experienced trophic dilution in the current food web.