A first European scale multimedia fate modelling of BDE-209 from 1970 to 2020

Earnshaw, Mark and Jones, Kevin Christopher and Sweetman, Andrew James (2015) A first European scale multimedia fate modelling of BDE-209 from 1970 to 2020. Environment International, 74. pp. 71-81. ISSN 0160-4120

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The European Variant Berkeley Trent (EVn-BETR) multimedia fugacity model is used to test the validity of previously derived emission estimates and predict environmental concentrations of the main decabromodiphenyl ether congener, BDE-209. The results are presented here and compared with measured environmental data from the literature. Future multimedia concentration trends are predicted using three emission scenarios (Low, Realistic and High) in the dynamic unsteady state mode covering the period 1970–2020. The spatial and temporal distributions of emissions are evaluated. It is predicted that BDE-209 atmospheric concentrations peaked in 2004 and will decline to negligible levels by 2025. Freshwater concentrations should have peaked in 2011, one year after the emissions peak with sediment concentrations peaking in 2013. Predicted atmospheric concentrations are in good agreement with measured data for the Realistic (best estimate of emissions) and High (worst case scenario) emission scenarios. The Low emission scenario consistently underestimates measured data. The German unilateral ban on the use of DecaBDE in the textile industry is simulated in an additional scenario, the effects of which are mainly observed within Germany with only a small effect on the surrounding areas. Overall, the EVn-BTER model predicts atmospheric concentrations reasonably well, within a factor of 5 and 1.2 for the Realistic and High emission scenarios respectively, providing partial validation for the original emission estimate. Total mean MEC:PEC shows the High emission scenario predicts the best fit between air, freshwater and sediment data. An alternative spatial distribution of emissions is tested, based on higher consumption in EBFRIP member states, resulting in improved agreement between MECs and PECs in comparison with the Uniform spatial distribution based on population density. Despite good agreement between modelled and measured point data, more long-term monitoring datasets are needed to compare predicted trends in concentration to determine the rate of change of POPs within the environment.

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Journal Article
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Environment International
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23 Aug 2016 15:40
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21 Sep 2023 02:06