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J Hazard Mater. 2018 Jun 5;351:215-223. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.02.037. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Translocation of polybrominated diphenyl ethers from field-contaminated soils to an edible plant.

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Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Medical College, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.
Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address:


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), recognised emerging contaminants, widely exist and persist in the environment. Samples were taken from a heavily contaminated farm in Taiwan located near a factory known to regularly use PBDEs. Sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas L., a commonly consumed vegetable in Asia) growing in the surrounding farmlands were found to contain a high concentration of PBDEs of 19.36 ng/g. The possibility of PBDEs translocation into sweet potato vines from soil samples was evaluated. To prevent the PBDEs from air through that factory, the pot experiments were performed in a greenhouse, which showed that the PBDEs concentration of 24 congeners (tri- through deca-BDE) in the sweet potato vine after 14-days cultivation was 29.90 ng/g, 40-times higher than that in the contaminated soil. After another 14-days, the PBDE concentration decreased to 12.30 ng/g as high-brominated PBDEs were transformed to medium- and/or low-brominated PBDEs in the sweet potato vine. The bioconcentration factor (BCF) values exceeded 20.0 for most of the deca-, nona-, and octa-BDEs but BCFs were below 18.9 for the rest of the medium- and low-brominated PBDEs. Our results demonstrate that high-brominated PBDEs can translocate into leafy vegetables from soils, and sweet potato vines tend to accumulate high-brominated PBDEs into their edible parts.


Bioaccumulation factor; Plant translocation; Plant uptake; Polybrominated diphenyl ethers; Sweet potato vine

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