Abstract

An investigation of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), and chlorinated flame retardants was conducted in samples from Canadian wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The penta-BDE mixture and deca-BDE were most commonly detected. Median removal efficiencies of PBDEs by WWTPs were 71% to 99% and higher concentrations of PBDEs were found in influent samples in summer, compared to winter. Three novel brominated flame retardants (nBFRs) including 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE), 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EHTeBB or TBB), and bis(2-ethyl-1-hexyl)tetrabromophthalate (BEHTBP or TBPH) were detected in greater than 80% of influents and biosolids. Median removal efficiencies were 45% to 99% for BTBPE, 63% to 99% for TBB, and 88% to 99% for TBPH. Detection of total dechlorane plus ((DP) syn and anti) was greater than 90% in both wastewater and biosolids samples. However, median removal efficiencies were between 51 and 66% for total DP. Overall, PBDEs were effectively removed via different treatment processes, while BTBPE, TBB, and DP exhibited lower removal rates, which could be due to their physical chemical properties.

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