Distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the atmosphere of the Pearl River Delta region, South China.
Journal: 2018/November - Environmental science and pollution research international
ISSN: 1614-7499
Air samples were collected from 26 air-monitoring stations located in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) and two in Shaoguan, South China, to investigate the spatial distribution and temporal changes in polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) after the production and use of PBDE commercial formulations was restricted in China and the "dual transfer strategy" implemented by Guangdong Province. The spatial distribution of PBDEs was inhomogeneous in the PRD region, with concentrations ranging from 26.3 to 634 pg/m3 and a mean value of 105 pg/m3. The PBDE levels in the five western cities (Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Zhongshan, and Jiangmen) were markedly higher than those in the four eastern cities (Dongguan, Huizhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai). BDE-209 was the predominant congener, accounting for 57.3-89.8% of the total measured PBDEs in this study. The proportion of penta- and nona-BDE congeners in the four eastern cities was markedly higher than those in five western cities. Principal component analysis showed that this elevation might be related to the debromination of BDE-209 during the thermal treatment process of products when PBDEs are used as flame retardants. Although the PBDE levels found in this study were markedly lower than those reported in previous studies, further efforts are still needed to clarify if there was a decreasing trend for PBDEs in the atmosphere of the PRD, in view of the increasing trends of PBDEs found by other researchers in mangrove sediments from Hong Kong and the Pearl River estuary in 2014 and 2015.
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