Brominated flame retardant migration into indoor dust

Rauert, Cassandra Brea (2014). Brominated flame retardant migration into indoor dust. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are ubiquitous in indoor air and dust, leading to human exposure and resultant concerns about adverse impact on health. Despite elevated concentrations in dust, little is known about how BFRs transfer to dust from treated products. A test chamber was constructed to investigate pathways via which the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) migrate from source materials to indoor dust. These were: (1) BFRs volatilise and subsequently partition to dust, (2) particles or fibres of the source abrade, transfering to dust directly (3) direct source-dust contact results in transfer. A HBCD treated textile curtain, and a PBDE TV casing were both tested. Partitioning post volatilisation was a less effective mechanism than abrasion. Direct source-dust contact resulted in effective and rapid transfer. A forensic microscopy investigation on ‘real world’ dust of elevated BFR content identified polymer particles containing BDE-209, likely originating from a BFR treated polymeric material indicating abrasion. An \(in\) \(vitro\) extraction test investigated the bioaccessibility of dust contaminated \(via\) pathways (1) and (2). Results indicate bioaccessibility may be less efficient from samples containing elevated concentrations of BFRs, and from dusts contaminated primarily via abrasion. More detailed research is essential to confirm these findings.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences


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