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European-scale modelling of concentrations and distribution of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in the penta-BDE product.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1/11/2004
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Journal number22
Volume38
Number of pages9
Pages5993-6001
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The results from a modeling exercise utilizing the European variant (EVn) BETR multimedia environmental fate model are presented for selected polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) of the technical penta- (Pe-) bromodiphenyl ether (BDE) product. The objectives of this study were to test PeBDE emission estimates from the literature for Europe by investigating the consistency between model predictions and ambient measurements to address the ability of the model to predict spatial variability and differences between congeners. Concurrently sampled and analyzed passive sampling air data, together with soil and grass data, were used as key model validation tools. The model steady-state simulations gave generally good agreement with measured data for BDE-47 and -99 with greater discrepancies for heavier congeners (e.g., BDE-153). To predict future atmospheric concentration trends, the model was used in its fully dynamic mode over the period 1970-2010. It was predicted that atmospheric concentrations peaked around 1997, declining with an overall "disappearance" half-life of 4.8 years. Soil and grass levels were underestimated by the model; possible reasons for differences with measurement data are further explored. Finally, the importance of temporally and spatially resolved environmental data sets is highlighted, while improved quantification of degradation half-lives is essential to better understand and predict the behavior of BDE congeners in PeBDE.

Bibliographic note

This study was carried out with funding from Defra to support the UK's position on incorporating 'new' chemicals into International regulatory agreements. KP (PhD student) carried out research with guidance from AJS. Joint authorship, AJS corresponding author. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences