Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and alternative brominated flame retardants in air and seawater of the European Arctic


The spatial distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and several alternative non-PBDE, non-regulated brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in air and seawater and the air–seawater exchange was investigated in East Greenland Sea using high-volume air and water samples. Total PBDE concentrations (Ó10PBDEs) ranged from 0.09 to 1.8 pg m−3 in the atmosphere and from 0.03 to 0.64 pg L−1 in seawater. Two alternative BFRs, Hexabromobenzene (HBB) and 2,3-dibromopropyl-2,4,6-tribromophenyl ether (DPTE), showed similar concentrations and spatial trends as PBDEs. The air–seawater gas exchange was dominated by deposition with fluxes up to −492 and −1044 pg m−2 day−1 for BDE-47 and DPTE, respectively. This study shows the first occurrence of HBB, DPTE and other alternative flame retardants (e.g., pentabromotoluene (PBT)) in the Arctic atmosphere and seawater indicating that they have a similar long-range atmospheric transport potential (LRAT) as the banned PBDEs.
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