Concentrations and distribution of novel brominated flame retardants in the atmosphere and soil of Ny-Ålesund and London Island, Svalbard, Arctic

Guibin Jiang , Yanfen Hao , Wenying Meng , Yingming Li , Xu Han , Huili Lu , Pu Wang , Ruiqiang Yang , Qinghua Zhang


Received August 14, 2019,Revised , Accepted April 15, 2020, Available online June 07, 2020

Volume 32,2020,Pages 180-185

Novel brominated flame retardants (NBFRs) were investigated in Arctic air and soil samples collected from Ny-Ålesund and London Island, Svalbard, during Chinese scientific research expeditions to the Arctic during 2014–2015. The concentrations of Σ9NBFRs in the Arctic air and soil were 4.9–8.7 pg/m3 (average 6.8 pg/m3) and 101–201 pg/g dw (average 150 pg/g dw), respectively. The atmospheric concentration of hexabromobenzene (HBB) was significantly correlated with that of pentabromotoluene (PBT) and pentabromobenzene (PBBz), suggesting similar source and environmental fate in the Arctic air. No significant spatial difference was observed among the different sampling sites, both for air and soil samples, indicating that the effects of the scientific research stations on the occurrence of NBFRs in the Arctic were minor. The fugacities from soil to air of pentabromoethylbenzene (PBEB), 2,3-dibromopropyl 2,4,6-tribromophenyl ether (DPTE), and decabromodiphenylethane 1,2-bis (pentabromophenyl) ethane (DBDPE) were lower than the equilibrium value, indicating a nonequilibrium state of these compounds between air and soil, the dominant impact of deposition and the net transport from air to soil. The correlation analysis between the measured and predicted soil-atmosphere coefficients based on the absorption model showed that the impact of the soil organic matter on the distribution of NBFRs in the Arctic region was minor. To the best of our knowledge, this work is one of the limited reports on atmospheric NBFRs in the Arctic and the first study to investigate the occurrence and fate of NBFRs in the Arctic soil.

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