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Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu
Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. PhD Thesis. Universiteit Antwerpen: Antwerpen. ISBN 90-5728-060-4. XVII, 263 pp.

Thesis info:

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Document type: Dissertation

Keyword
    Marine

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  • Voorspoels, S., more

Content
  • Voorspoels, S. (2006). Introduction and background information, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 1-22, more
  • Voorspoels, S. (2006). Analytical methodology, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 23-54, more
  • Covaci, A.; Voorspoels, S.; de Boer, J. (2006). Determination of brominated flame retardants, with emphasis on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in environmental and human samples: a review, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 55-76, more
  • Voorspoels, S. (2006). PBDEs in the Belgian aquatic environment, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 77-82, more
  • Covaci, A.; Gheorghe, A.; Voorspoels, S.; Maervoet, J.; Steen Redeker, E.; Blust, R.; Schepens, P. (2006). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in sediment cores from Western Scheldt river, Belgium: analytical aspects and depth profiles, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 83-91, more
  • Voorspoels, S.; Covaci, A.; Maervoet, J.; Schepens, P. (2006). PBDEs in marine and freshwater sediments from Belgium: levels, profiles and relations with biota, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 93-97, more
  • Voorspoels, S.; Covaci, A.; Schepens, P. (2006). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in marine species from the Belgian North Sea and the Western Scheldt Estuary: levels, profiles, and distribution, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 99-111, more
  • Janák, K.; Covaci, A.; Voorspoels, S.; Becher, G. (2006). Hexabromocyclododecane in marine species from the western Scheldt Estuary: diastereoisomer- and enantiomer-specific accumulation, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 229-236, more
  • Voorspoels, S. (2006). Summary and conclusions, in: Voorspoels, S. (2006). Environmental distribution of brominated flame retardants in Belgium = Verspreiding van gebromeerde vlamvertragers in het Belgische milieu. pp. 237-243, more

Abstract
    Brominated flame retardants [BFRs] are a diverse group of chemicals that are used to increase fire safety. They are incorporated into a wide range of products, such as TVs, computers, household appliances, textiles and upholstery. Some of them, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers [PBDEs], hexabromocyclododecane [HBCD], and tetrabromobisphenol-A [TBBP-A], have led to both scientific and public concern since they have been found to accumulate in Man and wildlife. BFRs are linked to adverse physiological effects both in vitro and in vivo [e.g. interference in neurobehavioural development, foetal health and thyroid function]. Adequate data on the effects are currently still insufficient to fully understand their toxicology.

    This thesis presents analytical method development and measurements of BFRs in a wide range of environmental samples. Since concentrations of BFRs are low and since environmental pollution is not only restricted to these compounds, analysing these chemicals in environmental samples is a challenging task, necessitating severe quality control. Therefore, all methods that were developed and optimised in this work were finally validated through successful participation in inter-laboratory exercises.

    At the start of this PhD-work, environmental occurrence of BFRs was not yet studied in Belgium. This thesis provides insight into the environmental distribution of BFRs and into the analytical aspects involved. In the first part of this thesis, the presence of PBDEs was investigated in aquatic environments. Geographical distribution and levels of PBDEs in sediments and biological samples, such as invertebrates and fish, were studied. All investigated species showed measurable levels of all contaminants. In the second part of this thesis, the presence of PBDEs was investigated in terrestrial environments. Biological samples of representative wildlife avian and mammalian top predators were investigated for PBDEs. BDE 209, a compound that is supposedly not bioavailable, was detected in the majority of the samples, which contradicts previously published statements and which suggests that legislative action is recommended for this chemical. Based on PBDE data in the prey of the investigated terrestrial predators, it was shown that PBDEs are biomagnified. In the third part of this thesis, PBDEs were investigated in relation to Man. A method for the determination of PBDEs, including BDE 209, in [human] serum was developed. Additionally, human dietary exposure was assessed by means of a market-basket study. It could be concluded that levels in food are low and comparable to other European countries. Dietary intake of PBDEs should however not be neglected. The fourth and final part of this thesis focuses on HBCD, which was investigated in selected aquatic samples.

    BFR exposure to animals and humans will continue as long as these chemicals are a part of our daily life and as long as they are present as contaminants in the surrounding environment. Exposure to these compounds will not stop at the scheduled date of phase-out.

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