Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins/ dibenzofurans and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in soil, vegetation, workshop-floor dust, and electronic shredder residue from an electronic waste recycling facility and in soils from a chemical industrial complex in eastern China

Jing Ma, Rudolf Addink, Sehun Yun, Jinping Cheng, Wenhua Wang, Kurunthachalam Kannan
Environmental Science & Technology 2009 October 1, 43 (19): 7350-6
The formation and release of polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PBDD/Fs) from the incineration of electronic wastes (e-waste) that contain brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are a concern. However, studies on the determination of PBDD/Fs in environmental samples collected from e-waste recycling facilities are scarce. In this study, 11 2,3,7,8-substituted PBDD/Fs and 10 polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners were determined in electronic shredder waste, workshop-floor dust soil, and leaves (of plants on the grounds of the facility) from a large-scale e-waste recycling facility and in surface soil from a chemical-industrial complex (comprising a coke-oven plant, a coal-fired power plant, and a chlor-alkali plant) as well as agricultural areas in eastern China. Total PBDD/F concentrations in environmental samples were in the range of 113-818 pg/g dry wt (dw) for leaves, 392-18500 pg/g dw for electronic shredder residues, 716-800000 pg/g dw for soil samples, and 89600-pg/g dw for workshop-floor dust from the e-waste recycling facility and in a range from nondetect (ND) to 427 pg/g dw in soil from the chemical-industrial complex. The highest mean concentrations of total PBDD/Fs were found in soil samples and workshop-floor dust from the e-waste recycling facility. The dioxin-like toxic equivalent (measured as TEQ) concentrations of PBDD/Fs were greater than the TEQs of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) reported in our previous study for the same set of samples. The concentrations of PBDFs were several orders of magnitude higher than the concentrations of PBDDs in samples from the e-waste facility or from soil from the chemical-industrial complex. A significant correlation was found between the concentrations of sigmaPBDD/Fs and sigmaPBDEs (r = 0.769, p < 0.01) and between sigmaPBDD/Fs and the previously reported sigmaPCDD/F concentrations (r = 0.805, p < 0.01). The estimated daily human intakes of TEQs contributed by PBDD/Fs via soil/dust ingestion and dermal exposures in e-waste recycling facilities were higher than the intakes of TEQs contributed by PCDD/ Fs, calculated in our previous study.

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