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Polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PBDD/Fs) in e-waste plastic in Nigeria

: Sindiku, Omotayo; Babayemi, Joshua; Tysklind, M.; Osibanjo, Oladele; Weber, R.; Watson, A.; Schlummer, Martin; Lundstedt, S.


Environmental science and pollution research international : ESPR 22 (2015), No.19, pp.14515-14529
ISSN: 0944-1344
ISSN: 1614-7499
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IVV ()

Plastics from cathode ray tube (CRT) casings were sampled in Nigeria and analysed for their polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran (PBDD/F) content. PBDD/Fs, consisting mainly of PBDFs, were detected in BFR containing plastic with a median (mean) concentration of 18,000 ng/g (41,000 ng/g). The PBDD/Fs levels were highest in samples containing PBDEs, but the levels of PBDFs were two orders of magnitude higher than the levels reported in the technical PBDE mixtures and where frequently exceeding 1000 μg/g of PBDE content. These higher levels are likely to arise from additional transformation of PBDEs during production, use, recycling, or storage, but the processes responsible were not identified in this study. PBDD/Fs in CRT casings containing1,2-bistribromophenoxyethane (TBPE) were dominated by tetrabrominated dibenzo-p-dioxin (TBDDs) with concentrations around 10 μg/g of the TBPE content. The PBDD/Fs in CRT casings containing tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) were found at concentrations around 0.1 μg/g of TBBPA levels. Casings treated with TBPE or TBBPA often contained PBDEs (and PBDF) as impurities—probably originating from recycled e-waste plastics. It was estimated that the 237,000 t of CRT casings stockpiled in Nigeria contain between 2 and 8 t of PBDD/Fs. The total PBDD/F contamination in polymers arising from total historic PBDE production/use is estimated in the order of 1000 t. TEQ values of CRT samples frequently exceeded the Basel Convention’s provisional low POPs content of 15 ng TEQ/g. Due to the significant risks to health associated with PBDD/Fs, more detailed studies on the exposure routes from PBDD/Fs in stockpiles are needed.