Spatial distribution, source identification, and anthropogenic effects of brominated flame retardants in nationwide soil collected from South Korea
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- Spatial distribution, source identification, and anthropogenic effects of brominated flame retardants in nationwide soil collected from South Korea
- Jeon, Jin-Woo; Kim, Chul-Su; Kim, Ho-Joong; Lee, Chang-Ho; Hwang, Seung-Man; Choi, Sung-Deuk
- Issue Date
- Pergamon Press Ltd.
- ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, pp.116026
- Soil samples were collected at 61 sites of the national monitoring network for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in South Korea. The target compounds were brominated flame retardants (BFRs), including polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA). The mean concentrations of Σ27 PBDEs, Σ3 HBCDDs, and TBBPA in soil were 222, 17.2, and 4.4 ng/g, respectively, but PBBs were not detected. Industrial sites had statistically higher BFR concentrations than suburban sites but no significant difference compared with urban sites. The commercial deca-BDE mixtures were the most likely source of PBDE contamination in the soil samples, with the minor influence of commercial penta-BDE and octa-BDE mixtures. The profiles of HBCDDs in most soil samples differed from those in the powder types of technical HBCDD mixtures, indicating that they are affected by the HBCDDs contained in commercial products and the conversion of HBCDD diastereoisomers (γ-HBCDD to α-HBCDD) in the environment. The concentrations of Σ27 PBDEs, Σ3 HBCDDs, and TBBPA were significantly correlated with population density, gross domestic product, and the number of companies (p < 0.01), indicating a direct impact of anthropogenic activities. Significant correlations among BFRs were determined (0.63 < r < 0.74, p < 0.01), suggesting that these pollutants had similar sources. Relatively good correlations (0.44 < r < 0.98, p < 0.01) between BDE-209 and other light BDEs (except for BDE-71, -77, −126, −156, and −205) might result from the degradation of heavy BDEs under anaerobic and natural sunlight conditions. To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the most comprehensive soil monitoring data for various BFRs in South Korea. Furthermore, it is the first report on soil contamination by deca-BDE, HBCDDs, and TBBPA in South Korea.
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