Hyun-Kyung Lee, Sunggyu Lee, Jae-Eun Lim, Hyo-Bang Moon*
Department of Marine Science and Convergence Engineering, College of Science and Convergence Technology, Hanyang University, Ansan 15588, Republic of Korea
Legacy and novel flame retardants (FRs) such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), novel BFRs, and organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) were measured in water and sediment collected from highly industrialized bays of Korea. Predominant compounds in sediment were BDE 209, DBDPE, and BTBPE for BFRs, and TCPP and TBOEP for OPFRs, respectively. Higher alternative FR concentrations were observed compared to those reported for previous studies. The highest BFR concentrations were found in locations close to industrial complexes, while the OPFR concentrations were highest in locations close to domestic regions and a wastewater treatment plant. Different contamination sources were observed for BFRs and OPFRs. The ratio of DBDPE/BDE 209 in sediment ranged from 0.84 to 28, indicating a shift in consumption of BFRs. A significant decline in PBDEs suggests the effectiveness of domestic and global regulations. Despite this, sedimentary PBDE concentrations may pose adverse health risks to benthic organisms and humans.