Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in combusted residues and soils from an open burning site of electronic wastes

Qian Luo, Ming Hung WONG, Zijian Wang*, Zongwei CAI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are ubiquitous environmental contaminants due to their extensive use. Combusted residue from electronic waste (e-waste) combustion is one of the contamination sources because PBDEs may be deposited in the soil and transported to remote locations. The transport and deposition behaviors of PBDEs released from burning were evaluated by analyzing their concentrations and congener distributions. Total PBDE concentrations were detected in the range from 2379 to 6238 ng/g (dry weight) in the combusted residue samples collected from a large open burning site and from 247.4 to 1422.3 ng/g in soil samples collected fromdifferent locations close to the open burning site. BDE-209, 183, 153, 99, and 47 were detected in relative high concentrations in both combusted residue and soil samples. The interpretation of the PBDEs concentrations and congener patterns in the combusted residue and soil samples indicated that PBDEs contamination in soil might be a result of e-waste burning and transportation, and deposit of the combusted residue. The total PBDE concentrations decreased significantly with increasing distance from the burned site, suggesting that the combusted activities were the major source of PBDEs in the region and the transportation behavior of lower brominated congeners might not differ from that of higher brominated congeners for short distances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2633-2641
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

User-Defined Keywords

  • BDE-209
  • Brominated flame retardants (BFRs)
  • Combusted residue
  • GC-MS
  • Open burning
  • Soil


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