A substantial formation of PBDF congeners was observed during photolytic decomposition of decaBDE in toluene. The decaBDE degradation was monitored by chemical and toxicological analysis and in all, twenty-seven mono- to hexasubstituted polybrominated dibenzofurans (PBDFs) were detected in toluene solutions of decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) after irradiation with UV-A, UV-AB and UV-ABC. The concentration levels of PBDFs formed after 16 h of UV exposure increased with wider spectra and were determined to be 3.5, 4.2 and 14 μg/ml after UV-A, UV-AB and UV-ABC irradiation, respectively. In accordance, bioassay derived TEQs (bio-TEQs), determined with the DR-CALUX assay, increased with a similar pattern. The PBDFs formed after the three UV exposures accounted for 0.31%, 0.35% and 1.2% of the initial amount of decaBDE (molar basis). The PBDF congener patterns were consistent in all three UV experiments which imply that no alterations were induced in the PBDF formation or degradation processes due to differences in UV irradiation. However, these processes tended to increase with wider spectra and increasing radiation energy most likely due to the strong absorbance of for example decaBDE at shorter wavelengths. After total decaBDE decomposition the PBDF formation increased significantly in the UV-ABC experiment. The tetra to hexasubstituted BDFs constituted the majority of detected compounds in all experiments. In all samples, the estimated chemical TEQ indicate that the bio-TEQs observed are largely explained by the presence of non-2,3,7,8-substituted PBDFs with relatively low toxicological potencies.
Environment International – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2006
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