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. 2018 Nov;211:943-951.
doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2018.07.147. Epub 2018 Jul 30.

Photodegradation of Brominated Flame Retardants in Polystyrene: Quantum Yields, Products and Influencing Factors

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Photodegradation of Brominated Flame Retardants in Polystyrene: Quantum Yields, Products and Influencing Factors

Amina Khaled et al. Chemosphere. .

Abstract

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are widely used as additives in plastics, textiles and electronics materials. Here, we investigated the photodegradation of four BFRs including decabromobiphenylether (BDE-209), tetrabromobipsphenol A (TBBPA), tetrabromobisphenol A-bis(2,3-dibromopropylether) (TBBPA-DBPE) and tetrabromobisphenol A bis (allyl) ether (TBBPA-BAE). Experiments were carried out in polystyrene (PS) films using monochromatic and polychromatic irradiations. For comparison, irradiations were also carried in a solvent (tetrahydrofuran: THF). Monitoring of BFR degradation was performed using bulk and surface infrared (IR) measurements, as well as by extraction and HPLC-UV. Photoproducts were characterized using HPLC-high resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-Orbitrap-MS). All four BFRs underwent photochemical transformation in THF at 290 nm with a quantum yield (Φ) ranging from 0.05 for TBBPA to 0.27 for BDE-209, indicating an increase of photoreactivity with the number of Br atoms in BFRs. On the other hand, no major difference in the Φ values was observed when BFRs were embedded in PS films (Φ: 0.82-0.89). The higher photoreactivity in PS appears to be associated with a fast oxidation of PS as revealed by infrared (IR) analysis and yellowing of the films. Interestingly, the faster the yellowing occurred, the faster the BFR degradation was inhibited due to light screening effect. Several major photoproducts were identified for TBBPA and TBBPA-DBPE. Additional photoproducts possibly arising from PS oxidation and bromination by Br were observed for the first time. This work provides a better understanding of the reactivity and fate of BFRs in polymers allowing for a better assessment of their environmental impacts.

Keywords: Fate; Kinetic; Polybrominated diphenyl ethers; Tetrabromobipsphenol A.

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