WIT Press


PBDEs And PCBs In European Occupational Environments And Their Health Effects

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/AIR090331

Volume

123

Pages

10

Page Range

365 - 374

Published

2009

Size

446 kb

Author(s)

I. L. Liakos, D. Sarigiannis & A. Gotti

Abstract

Flame retardants such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been widely used in numerous applications for the retardation of fires. In this effort the indoor air concentrations of PBDEs and PCBs in European environments, obtained from various research studies, are gathered, analysed and evaluated. Specific microenvironments and materials used in indoor buildings appear to influence the concentration of flame retardants. Even though PBDEs and PCBs in Europe were found at low concentrations, there are some indoor environments presenting elevated levels of halogenated flame retardants (HFRs). Congener PBDE 209 is the most abundant in every studied environment. The extensive use of electrical devices increases the PBDEs concentration. High PBDE and PCB concentrations were found in the UK due to the strict fire regulations in this country. High PCB concentrations in indoor air were detected in buildings reinforced with concrete, as well as in schools, industrial and public buildings and in recycling plants. HFRs have shown that they are linked with various diseases including cancer, immune, neurological, endocrine, and reproductive effects and chlorance. Limitation and/or banning of HFRs is ongoing by many organisations and countries and the need for a universal approach is required. Keywords: halogenated flame retardants, PBDEs, PCBs, emission sources, indoor air concentrations, health effects.

Keywords

halogenated flame retardants, PBDEs, PCBs, emission sources, indoor air concentrations, health effects