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Current-use flame retardants in the water of Lake Michigan tributaries

September 6, 2017

In this study, we measured the concentrations of 65 flame retardants in water samples from five Lake Michigan tributaries. These flame retardants included organophosphate esters (OPEs), brominated flame retardants (BFRs), and Dechlorane-related compounds. A total of 59 samples, including both the particulate and the dissolved phases, were collected from the Grand, Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph, and Lower Fox rivers and from the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal (IHSC) in 2015. OPEs were the most abundant among the targeted compounds with geometric mean concentrations ranging from 20 to 54 ng/L; OPE concentrations were comparable among the five tributaries. BFR concentrations were about 1 ng/L, and the most-abundant compounds were bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate, 2-ethylhexyl 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate, and decabromodiphenyl ether. The highest BFR concentrations were measured in either the IHSC or the Saint Joseph River. The dechlorane-related compounds were detected at low concentrations (<1 pg/L). The fraction of target compounds in the particulate phase relative to the dissolved phase varied by chemical and tended to increase with their octanol–water partition coefficient. The chemical loading from all the five tributaries into Lake Michigan were <10 kg/year for the BFRs and about 500 kg/year for the OPEs.

Publication Year 2017
Title Current-use flame retardants in the water of Lake Michigan tributaries
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.7b01294
Authors Jiehong Guo, Kevin Romanak, Stephen M. Westenbroek, Ronald A. Hites, Marta Venier
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Science & Technology
Index ID 70190524
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wisconsin Water Science Center