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Levels of Non-PBDE Halogenated Fire Retardants and Brominated Dioxins and their Toxicological Effects in Indoor Environments - A Review

Category: Air Toxics

Volume: 18 | Issue: 8 | Pages: 2047-2063
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2018.03.0095

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Yi-Chyun Hsu1, Rachelle Anne D. Arcega2, Yan-You Gou3, Lemmuel L. Tayo2, Yi-Hsien Lin4, Sheng-Lun Lin5,6,7, How-Ran Chao 3,8

  • 1 Department of Environmental Engineering, Kun Shan University, Tainan 71003, Taiwan
  • 2 School of Chemical, Biological, Materials Engineering and Sciences, Mapúa University, Manila 1002, Philippines
  • 3 Emerging Compounds Research Center, Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
  • 4 Department of Plant Medicine, College of Agriculture, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan
  • 5 Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
  • 6 Center for Environmental Toxin and Emerging-Contaminant Research, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
  • 7 Super Micro Mass Research and Technology Center, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
  • 8 Institute of Food Safety Management, College of Agriculture, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Pingtung 91201, Taiwan


NBFRs, DPs, and PBDD/Fs are ubiquitously occurring in indoor air and dust.
Global levels of NBFRs, DPs, and PBDD/Fs in indoor air and dust were summarized.
Indoor dust is a major sink for NBFR, DP, and PBDD/F contamination.
In vitro and in vivo toxicity of the chemicals is listed, but epidemiology is few.
Risk assessment of indoor NBFRs, DPs, and PBDD/Fs is needed in the future.


Non-polybrominated diphenyl ether (non-PBDE) halogenated fire retardants (HFRs) such as new or novel brominated fire retardants (NBFRs) and dechlorane plus (DP) have been widely spread in the environment and recognized as emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the recent years, mainly due to the continuous increase in their global demand, especially after the worldwide restrictions on PBDE use. Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PBDD/Fs) are the unintentional byproducts of PBDE commercial formulations in the indoor environment. Although HFRs, including NBFRs, DP, and PBDD/Fs, are ubiquitous in the indoor environment due to the large-volume release from the surfaces of consumer products, only a few in vitro and in vivo studies have addressed their toxic effects. In this review article, global data on NBFRs, including decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE), bis(2-ethylhexyl)-3,4,5,6-tetrabromophthalate (BEH-TEBP), and 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EH-TBB), DP, including syn-DP and anti-DP, and PBDD/Fs in indoor aerosol and dust are summarized from recent literature. Based on the gathered data, indoor dust is a major sink for indoor contamination and is of great concern due to the fact that dust ingestion is one of the primary routes for human exposure to these chemicals. Lastly, the toxic effects of NBFRs, DP, and PBDD/Fs identified in in vitro and in vivo studies are summarized and discussed based on the current published reports. However, there is still a lack of sufficient toxicity data for assessing their risks. Future works are encouraged to focus on indoor PM2.5-bound HFR levels to further evaluate their toxic effects on human health.


Fire retardants Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans (PBDD/Fs) Indoor dust Dechlorane plus (DP) Novel brominated fire retardants (NBFRs) Toxicity

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