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Atmospheric Concentrations and Dry Deposition of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Southern Taiwan

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Volume: 12 | Issue: 6 | Pages: 1135-1145
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2012.09.0252
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Long-Full Lin1, Kai-Ling Chang2,3, Wei-Tung Liao 4, Yi-Chieh Lai 5,6, Yen-Yi Lee6, Lin-Chi Wang6,7, Guo-Ping Chang-Chien6,8

  • 1 Department of Environmental Engineering, Kun Shan University, 949 Da Wan Road, Tainan 71003, Taiwan
  • 2 Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
  • 3 Sustainable Environment Research Center, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
  • 4 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, 1 Nan-Tai Street, Tainan 71005, Taiwan
  • 5 Center for General Education, Cheng Shiu University, 840 Chengcing Road, Kaohsiung City 83347, Taiwan
  • 6 Super Micro Mass Research and Technology Center, Cheng Shiu University, 840 Chengcing Road, Kaohsiung City 83347, Taiwan
  • 7 Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Informatics, Cheng Shiu University, 840 Chengcing Road, Kaohsiung City 83347, Taiwan
  • 8 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Cheng Shiu University, 840 Chengcing Road, Kaohsiung City 83347, Taiwan

Abstract

While polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been used extensively for decades as flame retardants in a variety of consumer and commercial products, concerns about these substances have risen due to their adverse effects on human health. To the best of our knowledge, no study has reported on the dry deposition flux and velocity of individual PBDEs. This study was undertaken to investigate the dry deposition characteristics of PBDEs in the ambient air of southern Taiwan. The average atmospheric concentrations for total PBDEs (sum of thirty BDEs) ranged from 24.0 ± 1.83 to 102 ± 13.3 pg/Nm3. The calculated dry deposition fluxes of total PBDEs were 13.4–60.4 ng/m2-day, BDE 209 accounted for over 75% of the total PBDEs. The results showed that particle phase deposition dominated the dry deposition processes for PBDEs, and the same trends have been observed in other semi-volatile organic compounds (SOCs). The dry deposition velocities of individual PBDEs increased along with the number of brominated substitutes, ranging from 0.014 to 0.755 cm/s. Together with the results of the author’s previous work, the deposition flux of total PBDEs could reach three orders of magnitude higher than those of PCDD/Fs (157–544 pg/m2-day) and PCBs (89–1010 pg/m2-day). Since atmosphere deposition is believed to be the main transfer pathway for SOCs entering food chains, its impact on human exposure to PBDEs is of great importance.

Keywords

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) Gas-Particle partitioning Dry deposition Flux Velocity


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