Author(s): Wei H, AzizSchwanbeck AC, Zou Y, Corcoran MB, Poghosyan A,
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Abstract South-central Arkansas (AR) is home to major manufacturing facilities for brominated flame retardant chemicals (BFRs) in the U.S. Unintended release during production may have caused accumulation of the BFRs in the local environment. In this work, sediment cores were collected from six water bodies in AR, including three located close to the BFR manufacturing facilities in El Dorado and Magnolia, to investigate past and recent deposition histories. A total of 49 polybromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) were detected, with concentrations as high as 57000 and 2400 ng/g dry weight for decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209) and DBDPE, respectively. Log-log regression of BDE209 and DBDPE surface concentrations versus distance to known BFR manufacturing facilities fit the Gaussian Plume Dispersion model, and showed that, if the distance is shortened by half, concentrations of BDE209 and DBDPE would increase by 5-fold. The spatial distribution and temporal trend of the contamination indicate that the manufacturing of PBDEs and DBDPE is the primary source for these compounds in the environment of southern Arkansas. Interestingly, the occurrence of debromination of PBDEs in the sediments of a previously used wastewater sludge retention pond in Magnolia is indicated by the presence of congeners that had not been detected in any commercial PBDE mixtures and by increased fractions of lower brominated congeners relative to higher brominated congeners. Two unknown brominated compounds were detected in the sediments, and identified as nonabromodiphenyl ethanes.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular Biomarkers & Diagnosis