Measurement of flame retardants and triclosan in municipal sewage sludge and biosolids.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

As polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) face increasing restrictions worldwide, several alternate flame retardants are expected to see increased use as replacement compounds in consumer products. Chemical analysis of biosolids collected from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) can help determine whether these flame retardants are migrating from the indoor environment to the outdoor environment, where little is known about their ultimate fate and effects. The objective of this study was to measure concentrations of a suite of flame retardants, and the antimicrobial compound triclosan, in opportunistic samples of municipal biosolids and the domestic sludge Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2781. Grab samples of biosolids were collected from two WWTPs in North Carolina and two in California. Biosolids samples were also obtained during three subsequent collection events at one of the North Carolina WWTPs to evaluate fluctuations in contaminant levels within a given facility over a period of three years. The biosolids and SRM 2781 were analyzed for PBDEs, hexabromobenzene (HBB), 1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)ethane (BTBPE), 2-ethylhexyl 2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (TBB), di(2-ethylhexyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrabromophthalate (TBPH), the chlorinated flame retardant Dechlorane Plus (syn- and anti-isomers), and the antimicrobial agent 5-chloro-2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenol (triclosan). PBDEs were detected in every sample analyzed, and ΣPBDE concentrations ranged from 1750 to 6358ng/g dry weight. Additionally, the PBDE replacement chemicals TBB and TBPH were detected at concentrations ranging from 120 to 3749 ng/g dry weight and from 206 to 1631 ng/g dry weight, respectively. Triclosan concentrations ranged from 490 to 13,866 ng/g dry weight. The detection of these contaminants of emerging concern in biosolids suggests that these chemicals have the potential to migrate out of consumer products and enter the outdoor environment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Davis, EF; Klosterhaus, SL; Stapleton, HM

Published Date

  • April 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 /

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 7

PubMed ID

  • 22280921

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6750

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0160-4120

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.envint.2011.11.008


  • eng