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Levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and hexabromocyclododecane in treatment plant sludge: Implications on sludge management

Demirtepe, Hale, Imamoglu, Ipek
Chemosphere 2019 v.221 pp. 606-615
air, atmospheric deposition, diastereomers, dust, hexabromocyclododecane, models, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, sewage sludge, wastewater treatment, Turkey (country)
Past usage of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) in commercial products resulted in their continuous emission from sources. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are the main sinks resulting from their industrial and domestic usage as well as atmospheric deposition. This preliminary study examined levels of PBDEs and HBCDD in urban and industrial WWTP sludge samples for the first time from Turkey. PBDE concentrations (sum of 26 congeners) of eight samples collected from four WWTPs were between 300 and 655 ng g−1 dw and 67–2.5*107 ng g−1 dw, and HBCDD concentrations (sum of α-, β-, and γ- diastereoisomers) ranged 75–616 ng g−1 dw and 13–416 ng g−1 dw, for urban and industrial WWTP samples, respectively. Although PBDEs have never been produced in Turkey, the highest PBDE concentration in sewage sludge worldwide was identified in one of the WWTPs. PBDE and HBCDD levels in other sludge samples were comparable to those reported in the literature. Application of a chemical mass balance model (CMB) suggested: (i) the main source of PBDEs as deca-BDE mixture; (ii) influence of a background air PBDE profile for one of the industrial WWTPs, having low contamination; (iii) indoor dust PBDE contamination as another source for urban WWTPs. The preliminary results for BFR levels in Turkey were discussed in terms of sludge disposal methods used worldwide, and the need for regulatory limits for BFRs in sludge management.