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Brominated flame retardants and dechlorane plus on a remote high mountain of the eastern Tibetan Plateau: implications for regional sources and environmental behaviors

Abstract

We investigated the occurrence of halogenated flame retardants (HFRs) including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), six novel brominated flame retardants (NBFRs) and dechlorane plus in air and soils on the eastern slope of Mt. Gongga on the eastern Tibetan Plateau. We detected all of the NBFR except bis(2-ethylhexyl)-tetrabromophthalate and pentabromoethyl benzene. NBFRs constituted the most prevalent group. BDE-28 and BDE-47 dominated among the PBDE congeners. Decabromodiphenyl ethane was detected at relatively high levels up to 171 pg/m3 and 1450 pg/g dry weight in air and soils, respectively; however, it appeared to be easily degraded in the environment. A general decreasing trend was observed among the HFR concentrations with increasing altitude, and this was due to the prominent contribution of source emissions over possible influence of environmental conditions. This study also suggests that HFRs are supplied to forest soils mainly in the form of precipitation and retained in the O horizon layers.

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Acknowledgements

This work is supported by the National Scientific Foundation of China (Nos. 41125014 and 41390242), the Joint Funds of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China (No. U1133004). We acknowledge the field sampling support from Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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Correspondence to Gan Zhang.

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Liu, X., Bing, H., Chen, Y. et al. Brominated flame retardants and dechlorane plus on a remote high mountain of the eastern Tibetan Plateau: implications for regional sources and environmental behaviors. Environ Geochem Health 40, 1887–1897 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10653-017-9938-1

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Keywords

  • Brominated flame retardants
  • Dechlorane plus
  • High mountain
  • Tibetan Plateau
  • Regional sources
  • Environmental behaviors