Seasonal variations of polybrominated flame retardants bound to car dust under Mediterranean climate

Yael Dubowski , Maisa Inibtawi , David M. Broday


Received July 26, 2017,Revised , Accepted November 21, 2017, Available online December 06, 2017

Volume 30,2018,Pages 124-132

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are commercial flame retardants that have been commonly used in vehicle interior to reduce fire-related hazards. Due to high temperatures and intense insolation that can be attained inside cars parked in the sun, additive PBDEs are prone to leach out and attach to in-vehicle dust, as well as to photo-debrominate. This study examines seasonal variations of concentrations of three common PBDE congeners (BDE-47, BDE-99 and BDE-209) in car dust in Israel. The overall concentrations of these BDEs ranged from 1 to 29 μg/g, and were higher in the summer than in the winter (average of 10.2 and 5.3 μg/g, respectively). Congener-specific concentrations showed distinct seasonal pattern, representing the interplay between leaching, evaporation and photodebromination. Photolysis of the three congeners, while adsorbed on glass filters and exposed to solar radiation, revealed first order kinetics with debromination rates on the order of 10 2/min. Hence, seasonal variations of the meteorological conditions were found to affect the in-vehicle PBDE concentrations, and are therefore expected also to affect the exposure of passengers to PBDEs.

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