Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Nancy Carolina Urbano - St. Mary's University
Co-Author(s): Hillary Marler and Da Chen, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are commonly used in household appliances and furniture such as carpets, computers, insulation, mattresses and furniture fabric in order to reduce flammability. BFRs are currently consumed at a yearly average of 1.5 billion tons (Seveg et al., 2009). BFRs are preferred because they are more efficient at reducing flammability and are less susceptible to have decomposition reactions at high temperatures (Schertner et al., 2004). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are common BFR additives, other additives are hexabromocyclododecane (HBDC) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs); these BFR additives often are not chemically bound, consequently certain amounts of the compounds leach out during production, recycling, disposal and use (Chen & Hale 2010). Dechlorane plus (DP) compounds are highly chlorinated and commonly used in place of certain BFRs (Hoh et al., 2008). Some BFRs have been banned in Europe and in the United States due to their persistence in the environmental and bioaccumulation (Hoh et al., 2008). Products that contain BFRs may leach from landfills, production, during usage, disposal or recycling (Segev et al.,2009). The toxic effects that BFRs have been observed including neurotoxicity, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity etc. (Birnbaum et al. 2004). Bioaccumulation serves as a route of human exposure to BFRs due to the consumption of contaminated fish, dairy products, animal bi-products, meat etc. (Schecter et al., 2004). In order to find out if there is a significant difference in the BFRs found in the higher tropic level organisms (Short Fin Mako Shark and Porbeagle Shark) than in the blue fish and blue mussels gas chromatography with mass spectrometer in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode to identify and quantify flame retardants of interest (PBDEs, Non-BDE BFRs and DP). Results showed that the Blue mussels had the highest levels of ΣPBDEs and ΣNon-BDE BFRs with a ΣPBDE median concentration of 1996.27 ng/g lipid wt (standard deviation of 15325.94 ng/g lipid wt) and a ΣNon-BDE BFR median concentration of 1724.07 ng/g lipid wt. (standard deviation of 13439.44 ng/g lipid wt). Our findings were seven times higher than that of other studies which have shown the mean concentration of ΣPBDEs in blue mussels was 277 ng/g lw (Subedi, 2014). Short Fin Mako Sharks had a ΣPBDE median concentration of 476.1 ng/g lipid wt (standard deviation of 3214.18 ng/g lipid wt), a ΣNon-BDE BFR median concentration of 30.92 ng/g lipid wt. (standard deviation of 27.18 ng/g lipid wt) and a ΣDP median concentration of 93.8 ng/g lipid wt. (standard deviation of 113 ng/g lipid wt). Porbeagle sharks may show a lower amount of mean ΣPBDEs, Σnon-BDE BFRs and ΣDP that that of the bluefish (n=17) is because the sample size for this species is n=4. Future studies include larger sample size for all of the species. Future studies on blue mussels must be done in order to understand why there are high concentrations of BFRs.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation
Faculty Advisor: Da Chen,