Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 3107–3117 | Cite as

Geographical distribution of non-PBDE-brominated flame retardants in mussels from Asian coastal waters

  • Tomohiko Isobe
  • Shohei P. Ogawa
  • Karri Ramu
  • Agus Sudaryanto
  • Shinsuke Tanabe
International Conference on Chemistry and the Environment in Zurich – ICCE 2011


Hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE), and decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) used as alternatives for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are also persistent in the environment as PBDEs. Limited information on these non-PBDE brominated flame retardants (BFRs) is available; in particular, there are only few publications on environmental pollution by these contaminants in the coastal waters of Asia. In this regard, we investigated the contamination status of HBCDs, BTBPE, and DBDPE in the coastal waters of Asia using mussels as a bioindicator. Concentrations of HBCDs, BTBPE, and DBDPE were determined in green (Perna viridis) and blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) collected from the coastal areas in Cambodia, China (mainland), SAR China (Hong Kong), India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam on 2003–2008. BTBPE and DBDPE were analyzed using GC-MS, whereas HBCDs were determined by LC-MS/MS. HBCDs, BTBPE, and DBDPE were found in mussels at levels ranging from <0.01 to 1,400, <0.1 to 13, and <0.3 to 22 ng/g lipid wt, respectively. Among the three HBCD diastereoisomers, α-HBCD was the dominant isomer followed by γ- and β-HBCDs. Concentrations of HBCDs and DBDPE in mussels from Japan and Korea were higher compared to those from the other Asian countries, indicating extensive usage of these non-PBDE BFRs in Japan and Korea. Higher levels of HBCDs and DBDPE than PBDEs were detected in some mussel samples from Japan. The results suggest that environmental pollution by non-PBDE BFRs, especially HBCDs in Japan, is ubiquitous. This study provides baseline information on the contamination status of these non-PBDE BFRs in the coastal waters of Asia.


Hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) 1,2-Bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy) ethane (BTBPE) Decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) Asia Mussel watch Non-PBDE-brominated flame retardants 



Sample collection in this study was carried out in cooperation with many scientists in Asian countries. We are grateful to Drs. S. Takahashi and A. Subramanian (Ehime University), D. Ueno (Saga University), G.J. Zheng, P.K.S. Lam (City University of Hong Kong), H. Takada (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology), M.P. Zakaria (University Putra Malaysia), P.H. Viet (Hanoi Science University, Vietnam), M. Prudente (De La Salle University, the Philippines), and T.S. Tana (Office of the Council of Ministers, Cambodia) for their significant contribution to this study. Financial support was provided by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S: 20221003), Young Scientist (B: 23710077) and Global COE Program of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, Culture and Technology (MEXT), and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. This research was also partly supported by MEXT's program “Promotion of Environmental Improvement for Independence of Young Researchers” under the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomohiko Isobe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shohei P. Ogawa
    • 2
  • Karri Ramu
    • 2
  • Agus Sudaryanto
    • 1
    • 3
  • Shinsuke Tanabe
    • 2
  1. 1.Senior Research Fellow CenterEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan
  2. 2.Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES)Ehime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan
  3. 3.Technology Center for Marine Survey, Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT)JakartaIndonesia

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