Brominated Flame Retardants in Seawater and Atmosphere of the Atlantic and the Southern Ocean


Seawater and air samples were collected aboard the FS Polarstern during the cruises ANT-XXV/1 + 2 in the Atlantic and Southern Ocean in 2008. The particulate and dissolved phase in water and particulate and gaseous phase in air were analyzed separately for nine polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and six non-PBDE brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Air concentrations of 2,3-dibromopropyl-2,4,6-tribromophenyl ether (DPTE) and hexabromobenzene (HBB) in the gaseous and particulate phase (median = 0.56 pg m−3 for DPTE and 0.92 pg m−3 for HBB) were comparable to ∑9PBDEs (1.0 pg m−3). Pentabromotoluene (PBT) was detectable in 30% of the gaseous phase samples, whereas concentration of 2,4,6-tribromophenyl allylether (ATE), hexachlorocyclopentenyl-dibromocyclooctane (HCDBCO) and 2-ethyl-1-hexyl 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EHTBB) were below their method detection limits. DPTE, and PBDEs were also found in seawater at low pg per liter levels. Elevated seawater concentrations of PBDEs and DPTE were measured in the English Channel and close to South African coast. Concentrations of DPTE, BDE-47, and BDE-99 in the atmosphere generally decreased from Europe toward the Southern Ocean, whereas no latitudinal trend was observed in seawater. Air−water exchange gradients suggested net deposition dominates for all selected substances. The medians of net deposition fluxes for the air−water gas exchange were 83, 21, 69, 20, and 781 pg m−2 day−1 for BDE-47, BDE-100, BDE-99, DPTE, and HBB, whereas medians of dry deposition fluxes were 2.0, 0.3, 1.2, 1.0, and 0.5 pg m−2 day−1 for BDE-47, BDE-100, BDE-99, DPTE, and HBB. Overall, these results highlight the important role of the long-range atmospheric transport of PBDE and non-PBDE BFRs to remote regions.
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