PBDE Byproducts Seem Ubiquitous in U.S. Waters

"Research published in ES&T shows for the first time that compounds produced when PBDE flame retardants are exposed to wastewater treatment can generate dioxins. Kris McNeill, Bill Arnold, and their University of Minnesota colleagues say they believe that the photochemically created brominated and mixed halogenated dibenzo-p-dioxins they discovered are likely to be 'ubiquitous in aquatic environments.' Experts agree that both the dioxins and the compounds that produce them, hydroxylated PBDEs (OH-PBDEs), could be impacting aquatic wildlife, and humans as well.

Buttressing the finding’s significance is a report by the U.S. National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) released on April 1, which documents 'that PBDEs are clearly ubiquitous' in U.S. coastal waters."

Kellyn Betts reports for Environmental Science & Technology May 27, 2009.

Source: ES&T, 05/29/2009