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Environ Pollut. 2018 Jul;238:749-759. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.03.076. Epub 2018 Apr 3.

Spatiotemporal variability of polybrominated diphenyl ether concentration in atmospheric fine particles in Shenzhen, China.

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Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shenzhen, 518055, PR China.
School of Medicine, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, Guangdong, 518060, PR China.
Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Shenzhen, 518055, PR China. Electronic address:
Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 518055, PR China.
School of Public Health, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, 510182, PR China. Electronic address:


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are widely used as flame retardants for various products and have become ubiquitous pollutants in environmental media. However, little is known about PBDE levels in Shenzhen, a manufacturing center of electronic products. This study aimed to investigate spatiotemporal variability of PBDE concentration in atmospheric fine particles (PM2.5) and to estimate the daily inhalation exposure doses for local residents in Shenzhen, China. A total of 36 samples were collected and 8 PBDE compounds (BDE-28, 47, 99, 100, 153, 154, 183 and 209) were analyzed by isotope dilution high-resolution gas chromatograph/high-resolution mass spectrometer (HRGC/HRMS). Mean concentrations of Σ8PBDEs and BDE-209 in PM2.5 in Shenzhen were 33.47 pg/m3 and 24.75 pg/m3, respectively, which were lower than those for other reported cities from China. The mean concentration of Σ8PBDEs was higher in the winter + spring than that in summer + autumn, and both concentrations of BDE-28 and BDE-47 in PM2.5 were significantly higher in winter + spring than those in summer + autumn. Among the 8 congeners, BDE-209 was predominant, accounting for 73.9% of the Σ8PBDEs concentrations. Traffic area, industrial area, residential area and discharge of electronic industries had significant positive influences on PBDE concentrations in PM2.5. Both vegetation area and water area were significantly negatively correlated with PBDE levels in PM2.5. Significantly negative correlation was also found between PBDE concentrations in PM2.5 and the relative humidity. The ranking of estimated inhalation exposure doses of PBDEs via PM2.5 inhalation were toddlers (1.74 pg/kg b.w./day) > children (1.33 pg/kg b.w./day) > adults (1.26 pg/kg b.w./day) > teenagers (0.64 pg/kg b.w./day), and toddlers had a highest risk to expose to PBDEs by PM2.5. To our knowledge, the present study is the first to reveal the spatiotemporal variability of PBDEs in PM2.5 of Shenzhen, China.


Atmospheric fine particles; Inhalation exposure; Meteorological parameters; Polybrominated diphenyl ethers

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