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Bioavailability and bioaccumulation of brominated flame retardants in Finnish aquatic environments

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Basic project information

Polybrominated flame retardants been added to consumer products for decades to reduce fire-related injury and property damage. As being persistent, these substances have caused environmental contamination even in remote areas showing that they are transported long-range in the environment. Many of these substances are relatively easily taken up by biota and can thus be concentrated in food webs all the way up to humans and cause several adverse effects in organisms.

The aim of the project is to produce novel information on the compounds fate in aquatic ecosystems for risk assessment purposes. As for the model compounds the project will use hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) among others. HBCD is a newcomer contaminant that has been shown to biomagnify in the Great Lakes food web.

Bioavailability from source, i.e. of sediment-associated model compounds will be measured to deposit-feeders. The compound’s potential for trophic transfer (biomagnification) will be studied in ecologically realistic test set-ups using a simplified food chain model. At each of the experimental trophic transfer phase, sediment → deposit feeder → secondary consumer → carnivorous fish, the biomagnification potential (toxicokinetics) of the model compounds will be measured and modeled.

The project yields information on the bioavailability, bioaccumulation and biomagnification of brominated flame retardants in aquatic food chain. The results are directly applicable for risk assessment purposes. During the starting year (2009) the project will focus on implementing the sediment-benthos model.

Further information

Researcher Anna Karjalainen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

Published 2013-09-20 at 14:33, updated 2016-07-25 at 12:25