Transport and fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the Baltic and Arctic regions

image of Transport and fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in the Baltic and Arctic regions

In the last decades, concern has been raised regarding the use of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) due to its increased environmental occurrence and its possible toxicological impact in humans and wildlife. As a result, two of the commercial PBDE products have recently been banned within the EU, while the use of the third product (DecaBDE) is still approved. A dynamic, fugacity-based, regional multimedia fate and transport model (POPCYCLING-Baltic) has been used to assess the historical behaviour and the potential future fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), exemplifying different emission scenarios following the introduction of restricting measures. The past, current and future consumption and emission of PBDEs were estimated, and the environmental fate of individual compounds was modelled. The possible impact on the Arctic region is also discussed. Uncertainties in the estimates and data gaps were identified.




A project entitled ”Predicting the future environmental fate of some brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenylethers) in the Nordic countries and the Arctic” has been financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers (NMR). The project is a co-operation between the three working groups under the environmental sector of the NMR: the Nordic Chemicals Group, the Nordic Group on Sea and Air Pollution and the Nordic Group on Monitoring and Data.


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