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Legacy and emerging flame retardants (FRs) in the freshwater ecosystem: a review

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/01/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Research
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)26-42
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date12/10/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this review article, we have compiled and reviewed the previously published available literature on environmental distribution, behaviour, fate and regional trends of legacy and emerging flame retardants (FRs) including brominated (BFRs), organo-phosphate (OPFRs), novel brominated flame retardants (NBFRs) and dechlorane plus (DP) in the freshwater ecosystem. Transport and fate is discussed briefly with the evidences of de-bromination, sedimentation and accumulation in biota. De-bromination of BDE-209 is considered of concern because the lower brominated congeners are more toxic and mobile thus posing increased risk to the freshwater ecosystem. The available data on temporal and spatial trends as yet, is too few to show any consistent trends, enabling only general conclusions to be drawn. There is a lack of temporal studies in Asia, while, overall the trends are mixed, with both increasing and decreasing concentrations of BFRs and OPFRs. OPFRs and NBFRs have replaced classical BFRs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)) in some countries but the amount of PBDEs in the environment is still considerable. Knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research are discussed emphasizing on further monitoring, advanced analytical methodologies, and risk assessment studies to completely understand the science of flame retardants in the freshwater ecosystem.