Skip to main content

Composition, Distribution, and Characterization of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Sandstorm Depositions in Beijing, China


This study was conducted to determine the concentration of 8 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in sandstorm depositions in Beijing, China. The PBDE concentrations in 10 samples collected in Beijing ranged from 8.47 to 29.02 ng g−1, with BDE-209 as the predominant congener (>85%). Principal component analysis revealed that the major source of PBDEs in Beijing may be potentially associated with deca-BDE. Furthermore, increasing PBDE contamination was observed from northwest to east Beijing. Finally, possible factors affecting contamination of the sandstorm depositions were subsequently explored revealing a significant correlation between ΣPBDEs and the minimum particle size of the sandstorm deposition samples.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Bidleman TF (1988) Atmospheric processes. Environ Sci Technol 22:361–367. doi:10.1021/es00169a002

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Boon JP, Lewis WE, Tjoen-A-Choy MR, Allchin CR, Law RJ, de Boer J, Hallers-Tjabbes CC, Zegers BN (2002) Levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants in animals representing different tropic levels of the North Sea food web. Environ Sci Technol 36:4025–4032. doi:10.1021/es0158298

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Butt CM, Diamond ML, Truong J, Ikonomou MG, ter Schure AFH (2004) Spatial distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in southern Ontario as measured in indoor and outdoor window organic films. Environ Sci Technol 37:817–821

    Google Scholar 

  4. de Wit CA (2002) An overview of brominated flame retardants in the environment. Chemosphere 46:583–624. doi:10.1016/S0045-6535(01)00225-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Han T, Lin J, Wang Y, Zheng B, Song H, Liu J, Jiang G, Shi P, Zhang J (2007) Nature and control of “dust storms” in the Beijing-Tianjin region, China – a case study of the dust storm in Beijing on April 16, 2006. Bull Geol 26:117–127 (in Chinese)

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Hassanin A, Breivik K, Meijer SN, Steinnes E, Thomas GO, Jones KC (2004) PBDEs in European background soils: levels and factors controlling their distribution. Environ Sci Technol 38:738–745. doi:10.1021/es035008y

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Kemmlein S, Herzke D, Law RJ (2003) BFR-governmental testing programme. Environ Int 29:781–792. doi:10.1016/S0160-4120(03)00112-0

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. LaGuardia MJ, Hale RC, Harvey E (2006) Detailed polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congener composition of the widely used penta-, octa-, and deca-PBDE technical flame-retardant mixtures. Environ Sci Technol 40:6247–6254. doi:10.1021/es060630m

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Leung AOW, Luksemburg WJ, Wong AS, Wong MH (2007) Spatial distribution of polybrominated diphenyl ethers and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in soil and combusted residue at Guiyu, an electronic waste recycling site in Southeast China. Environ Sci Technol 41:2730–2737. doi:10.1021/es0625935

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Lin YW, Chen YL (2007) The price of global warming. Glob Bus 6:86–87 (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Moon HB, Kannan K, Lee SJ, Choi M (2007) Atmospheric deposition of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in coastal areas in Korea. Chemosphere 66:585–593. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.09.042

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Pirard C, Pauw ED (2007) Absorption, disposition and excretion of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in chicken. Chemosphere 66:320–325. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.04.086

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Schecter A, Päpke O, Joseph JE, Tung KC (2005) Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDEs) in US computers and domestic carpet vacuuming: possible sources of human exposure. J Toxicol Environ Health 68:501–513. doi:10.1080/15287390590909715

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Sjödin A, Jakobsson E, Kierkegaard A, Marsh G, Sellström U (1998) Gas chromatographic identification and quantification of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in a commercial product, Bromkal 70-5DE. J Chromatogr A 822:83–89. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(98)00614-1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Stapleton HM, Dodder NG, Offenberg JH, Schantz MM, Wise SA (2005) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in house dust and clothes dryer lint. Environ Sci Technol 39:925–931. doi:10.1021/es0486824

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Tan J, Cheng SM, Loganath A, Chong YS, Obbard JP (2007) Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in house dust in Singapore. Chemosphere 66:985–992. doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.07.052

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Wang SG, Wang JY, Zhou ZJ, Shang KZ, Yang DB, Zhao ZS (2003) Regional characteristics of dust events in China. Acta Geogr Sinica 58:193–200 (in Chinese)

    Google Scholar 

  18. Wang J, He T, Guo X, Liu A, Zhou Q (2006) Dynamic changes of sandy land in northwest of Beijing, China. Environ Monit Assess 121:109–125. doi:10.1007/s10661-005-9110-8

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Wu N, Herrmann T, Paepke O, Tickner J, Hale R, Harvey E, LaGuardia M, McClean MD, Webster TF (2007) Human exposure to PBDEs: associations of PBDE body burdens with food consumption and house dust concentrations. Environ Sci Technol 41:1584–1589. doi:10.1021/es0620282

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (No. 2007BAC27B01) and the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China (No. 20707031).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to X. B. Xu.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fu, S., Yang, Z.Z., Zhang, L. et al. Composition, Distribution, and Characterization of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in Sandstorm Depositions in Beijing, China. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 83, 193–198 (2009).

Download citation


  • Beijing
  • China
  • Pollution
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
  • Sandstorm deposition