Temporal trends of Hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) and detection of two novel flame retardants in marine mammals from Hong Kong, South China

Chung Wah James LAM, Ridge K. F. LAU, Margaret B. MURPHY, Paul K. S. LAM

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Abstract

Concentrations of hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and three novel flame retardants, namely 2-ethylhexyl 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB), bis-(2-ethylhexyl)-tetrabromophthalate (TBPH), and hexachlorocyclopentadienyldibromocyclooctane (HCDBCO), were determined in blubber samples of Indo−Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides). The levels of HBCDs and PBDEs in cetacean samples ranged from 4.1 to 519 and 103 to 51,100 ng/g lw, respectively. A significant increasing trend of ΣHBCDs was observed in dolphin samples from 1997 to 2007 with an estimated annual rate of 5%, whereas no significant temporal trends of ΣPBDEs appeared over the sampling period. This pattern may be attributed to the increasing usage of HBCDs following the restriction/voluntary withdrawal of the production and use of PBDE commercial mixtures in several countries. HCDBCO was not found in the blubber samples. This is the first report of the presence of TBB and TBPH, two new flame retardants that have previously been identified in house dust from the U.S., in marine mammals; concentrations of these compounds in dolphins and porpoises ranged from the instrumental detection limit (IDL) (<0.04) to 70 and IDL (<0.04) to 3859 ng/g lw, respectively. Levels of TBPH were comparable to ΣHBCDs in porpoise samples. The presence of these novel flame retardants in top-trophic-level marine organisms raises concern about their release into the environment and indicates the need for further monitoring of these compounds in other environmental matrices. Copyright © 2009 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6944-6949
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume43
Issue number18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

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Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
Flame Retardants
Mammals
PBDE
marine mammal
porpoise
dolphin
cetacean
trophic level
Dust
dust
matrix
detection
flame retardant
trend
hexabromocyclododecane
Sampling
sampling
monitoring
Monitoring

Citation

Lam, J. C. W., Lau, R. K. F., Murphy, M. B., & Lam, P. K. S. (2009). Temporal trends of Hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) and detection of two novel flame retardants in marine mammals from Hong Kong, South China. Environmental Science & Technology, 43(18), 6944-6949. doi: 10.1021/es901408t