Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increasing atmospheric concentrations of new flame retardants found

Date:
December 15, 2011
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
Compounds used in new flame-retardant products are showing up in the environment at increasing concentrations, according to a recent study.

This map shows the location of Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network stations where IU researchers sampled for compounds used in flame retardants.
Credit: Image courtesy of Indiana University

Compounds used in new flame-retardant products are showing up in the environment at increasing concentrations, according to a recent study by researchers at Indiana University Bloomington.

Related Articles


The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, reports on concentrations of two compounds measured in atmospheric samples collected in the Great Lakes region between 2008 and 2010. Authors are doctoral student Yuning Ma, Assistant Research Scientist Marta Venier and Distinguished Professor Ronald A. Hites, all of the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The chemicals -- 2-ethylhexyl tetrabromobenzoate, also known as TBB; and bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate, or TBPH -- are used to reduce flammability in such products as electronic devices, textiles, plastics, coatings and polyurethane foams.

They are included in commercial mixtures that were introduced in recent years to replace polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), widely used flame retardants that have been or are being removed from the market because of their tendency to leak from products into the environment.

"We find that the environmental concentrations of these compounds are increasing rather rapidly," Hites said. "It's rare to find that concentrations of any compound are doubling within a year or two, which is what we're seeing with TBB and TBPH."

The researchers measured concentrations of TBB and TBPH in 507 air samples collected at six locations on the shores of the Great Lakes. The samples were collected by the Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network, a joint U.S.-Canada project, conducted by IU researchers, to monitor airborne toxic chemicals that are deposited in the Great Lakes.

The results constitute the first self-consistent data set that shows environmental concentrations of TBB and TBPH increasing relatively rapidly. Previous studies have found the compounds in sewage sludge in California, marine mammals in Hong Kong and household dust and furniture foam in the U.S.

As would be expected, the IU researchers found the largest concentrations of TBB and TBPH in atmospheric samples collected in urban areas: Chicago and, especially, Cleveland. But the compounds were also detected in about half the samples from remote sites at Sleeping Bear Dunes and Eagle Harbor in Michigan and Point Petre in Ontario, Canada. They also were detected at rural Sturgeon Point, N.Y.

TBPH was detected more frequently and in higher concentrations than TBB. The concentrations are similar to those reported previously by Hites and Venier for PBDEs at the Great Lakes sites, suggesting the newer-generation flame retardants may be replacing their predecessors in the environment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuning Ma, Marta Venier, Ronald A. Hites. 2-Ethylhexyl Tetrabromobenzoate and Bis(2-ethylhexyl) Tetrabromophthalate Flame Retardants in the Great Lakes Atmosphere. Environmental Science & Technology, 2011; 111130152710007 DOI: 10.1021/es203251f

Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "Increasing atmospheric concentrations of new flame retardants found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094843.htm>.
Indiana University. (2011, December 15). Increasing atmospheric concentrations of new flame retardants found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094843.htm
Indiana University. "Increasing atmospheric concentrations of new flame retardants found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111214094843.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dramatic Footage Shows Coast Guard Rescue Off Scottish Coast

Dramatic Footage Shows Coast Guard Rescue Off Scottish Coast

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Footage just released by the UK Coast Guard shows a dramatic helicopter rescue off the Scottish coast, where five men were plucked to safety after their fishing boat sank on Saturday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stunning Wingsuit Proximity Flying in Norway

Stunning Wingsuit Proximity Flying in Norway

Rumble (Jan. 23, 2015) A collection of amazing shots from flights made in the Aurland Valley in Norway. How incredible is that? Credit to &apos;BASEjumper&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Agrees Climate Change Is Happening, Just Not On Why

Senate Agrees Climate Change Is Happening, Just Not On Why

Newsy (Jan. 22, 2015) The Senate voted to confirm climate change is real, but some still weren&apos;t on board with the idea that humans are causing it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins