Concentrations of Brominated Flame Retardants in Indoor Air and Dust from Ireland Reveal Elevated Exposure to Decabromodiphenyl Ethane

Environ Sci Technol. 2019 Aug 20;53(16):9826-9836. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b02059. Epub 2019 Aug 5.


Concentrations of decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), 13 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) were measured in indoor air and dust collected from Irish homes, cars, offices, and primary schools during 2016-2017. Median concentrations of DBDPE in air (88 pg/m3) and dust (6500 ng/g) significantly exceed those previously reported internationally, with concentrations highest in offices and schools, suggesting that DBDPE is widely used in Ireland. Median concentrations of BDE-209 in air (340 pg/m3) and dust (7100 ng/g) exceed or are within the range of concentrations reported recently for the same microenvironments in the U.K., and exceed those reported in many other countries. Concentrations of BDE-209 in cars exceeded significantly (p < 0.05) those in other microenvironments. HBCDD was detected in all dust samples (median: 580 ng/g), and in 81% of air samples (median: 24 pg/m3) at concentrations similar to those reported recently for the U.K. and elsewhere. Estimates of exposure to DBDPE of Irish adults (92 ng/day) and toddlers (210 ng/day) as well as to BDE-209 (220 ng/day and 650 ng/day for adults and toddlers, respectively) substantially exceed those reported for the U.K. population. Moreover, our estimates of exposure of the Irish population to Σtrideca-PBDEs exceed previous estimates for Ireland via dietary exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Pollution, Indoor*
  • Bromobenzenes
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dust
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Flame Retardants*
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • Humans
  • Ireland


  • Bromobenzenes
  • Dust
  • Flame Retardants
  • Halogenated Diphenyl Ethers
  • decabromodiphenyl ethane