Occurrence of two novel triazine-based flame retardants in an E-waste recycling area in South China: Implication for human exposure

Mingjie SHEN, Jiali GE, Chung Wah James LAM, Mingshan ZHU, Juan LI, Lixi ZENG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The recent increase in the use of alternative flame retardants (FRs) in consumer products has led to emerging contaminants in the environment. Identification of novel FRs is urgently needed because the potential threat posed by these chemicals has provoked considerable attention, but the details of the threat are not yet widely understood. In this study, two novel triazine-based FRs, tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) isocyanurate (TDBP-TAZTO) and 2,4,6-tris(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)-1,3,5-triazine (TTBP-TAZ), were identified in dust samples from an e-waste recycling area in China. Two legacy FRs, namely, tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), were also analyzed for comparison. The mean level of TDBP-TAZTO in the e-waste dust samples was found to be much higher (2060 ng g⁻¹) than that of HBCDD (526 ng g⁻¹), while the mean level of TTBP-TAZ in residential dust samples was moderately higher (119 ng g⁻¹) than that of HBCDD (35.7 ng g⁻¹). A comparison of the TDBP-TAZTO and TTBP-TAZ concentrations with those of other alternative and legacy FRs indicated that TDBP-TAZTO is a major FR that is currently used in China. The estimated daily intake of TDBP-TAZTO via dust ingestion for occupational workers was much higher than that of HBCDD and was also much higher than for local adults and children. Exposure to TDBP-TAZTO poses a potentially high risk to the health of the local population, especially for the occupational workers, when the multicomponent chemical 'cocktail' effects are taken into account. More investigations on the environmental behaviors and risk factors of TDBP-TAZTO and TTBP-TAZ in various environmental matrices, as well as their toxicological effects, should be performed in the future. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-257
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online dateMay 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019



Shen, M., Ge, J., Lam, J. C. W., Zhu, M., Li, J., & Zeng, L. (2019). Occurrence of two novel triazine-based flame retardants in an E-waste recycling area in South China: Implication for human exposure. Science of The Total Environment, 683, 249-257. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.264


  • Tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) isocyanurate
  • 2,4,6-Tris(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)-1,3,5-triazine
  • Triazine structure-based flame retardants
  • E-waste recycling area
  • Human exposure