Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




FROTH AND BUBBLE
Study finds flame retardant pollutants at far-flung locations
by Staff Writers
Bloomington IN (SPX) Jan 10, 2013


Higher concentrations of flame retardants in bark and the atmosphere have been found by Hites and others in previous studies of the Great Lakes region, especially urban areas near Chicago and Cleveland, and also at cities in China.

Chemicals used as flame retardants are present as environmental pollutants at locations around the globe, including remote sites in Indonesia, Nepal and Tasmania, according to a study by researchers from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The study, published this month in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, makes use of a novel but highly effective sampling technique: measuring concentrations of the chemicals in the bark of trees, which absorbs compounds in both vapor and particle phases.

"These findings illustrate further that flame retardants are ubiquitous pollutants and are found all around the world, not only in biota and humans but also in plants," said Amina Salamova, a research associate in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU Bloomington and co-author of the study with Ronald A. Hites, Distinguished Professor in SPEA and in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The study measured concentrations of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants collected in tree bark samples at 12 locations around the globe: three sites in Canada and single sites in Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Czech Republic, South Africa, Nepal, Indonesia, Tasmania and American Samoa.

The highest concentrations were found at an urban site: Downsview, Ontario, Canada, near Toronto. However, the second-highest concentration of one type of flame retardant, Dechlorane Plus, was found at a remote site at Bukit Kototabang in Indonesia. Researchers don't know the cause of the relatively high concentrations at the site but suspect it may be near a source.

The study was carried out in cooperation with the Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling network, an international monitoring initiative established in 2004 on six continents.

Brominated and chlorinated flame retardants have been used for several decades in consumer products made of plastic, foam, wood and textiles to prevent combustion and slow the spread of fire.

They persist in the environment and bio-accumulate in ecosystems and in human tissues. Exposure to the compounds has been associated with thyroid and other endocrine system disruption and with adverse neurological development. As a result, the production and use of certain flame retardants has been restricted in North America and the European Union.

Researchers measured a variety of flame retardants, including widely used polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDE, as well as nonregulated compounds such as Dechlorane Plus and "older" flame retardants that were used in the 1980s. Findings included:

Most of the compounds were detected at all the locations, with concentrations varying widely.

Concentrations were associated with population density, suggesting the compounds most likely entered the environment through their use in nearby homes and offices.

Concentrations found in tree bark are correlated with those measured in previous atmospheric sampling at the sites by the Global Atmospheric Passive Sampling network.

Higher concentrations of flame retardants in bark and the atmosphere have been found by Hites and others in previous studies of the Great Lakes region, especially urban areas near Chicago and Cleveland, and also at cities in China. Even higher concentrations were found in southern Arkansas and at Niagara Falls, N.Y., near the sites of manufacturing facilities for PBDE and Dechlorane Plus, respectively.

The study also confirms the effectiveness of using tree bark as a sampling medium, a technique that Hites and colleagues have used in previous studies of persistent organic pollutants such as flame retardants.

Bark makes an effective sampling medium because of its large surface area and high lipid content. The samples are easy and inexpensive to collect, an advantage in developing countries that lack funding for extensive environmental monitoring programs. Tree bark also collects both vapor and particle phase pollutants, while other samplers collect one or the other.

.


Related Links
Indiana University
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





FROTH AND BUBBLE
Counting the cost of mercury pollution
Washington DC (SPX) Jan 09, 2013
Cleaning up mercury pollution and reducing prenatal exposure to the neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg) could save the European Union 10,000 million Euro per year, finds a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health. New estimates suggest that between 1.5 and 2 million children in the EU are born each year with MeHg exposures above the safe limit of 0.58ug/ ... read more


FROTH AND BUBBLE
Obama signs $9.7 bn aid bill for Sandy victims

Obama considers broad arms sales restrictions: report

Fukushima 'unprecedented challenge': new Japan PM

Natural catastrophes caused $160 bn in damage: Munich Re

FROTH AND BUBBLE
LEON: the space chip that Europe built

Counting the twists in a helical light beam

Oscillating Gel Gives Synthetic Materials the Ability to "Speak"

Cloud computing expands in Latin America

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Baby sharks stay still to avoid being detected by predators

Genetics clues to survival of coral reef

Waterfall-climbing fish use same mechanism to climb waterfalls and eat algae

Rural Demand for Better Water Driving Mobile Water Treatment Growth In Asia Pacific

FROTH AND BUBBLE
A new approach to assessing future sea level rise from ice sheets

A New Way to Study Permafrost Soil, Above and Below Ground

Bering Sea study finds prey density more important to predators than biomass

Fiennes sails for Antarctica on first winter crossing bid

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Bugs need symbiotic bacteria to exploit plant seeds

KFC draws China customers despite food scare

Corn could help farmers fight devastating weed

German diners feast on 'trash' to cut waste

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Russian volcano erupting with gas, ash

Rains bring flood havoc, drought relief to desert Jordan

7.5-magnitude quake hits off Alaska, triggers local tsunami

Stormy weather, heavy rains lash Israel, Palestinians

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Zambia bans lion, leopard hunting

No C.Africa deal in sight as rebels demand president quit

NATO says no Mali plans, Compaore urges talks

Central Africa peace talks begin in Gabon

FROTH AND BUBBLE
Eliminating useless information important to learning, making new memories

Tech world crawling into the crib

Promising compound restores memory loss and reverses symptoms of Alzheimer's

Dopamine-receptor gene variant linked to human longevity




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement