Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and ‘novel’ brominated flame retardants (NBFRs) are synthetic chemicals widely used in consumer products to enhance their ignition resistance. Since in most applications, these chemicals are used additively, they can transfer from such products into the environment. PBDEs have been classified as significant pollutants in the environment. Knowledge of PBDE and NBFR physicochemical properties provides information about their potential environmental fate and behaviour. This chapter highlights the most important physiochemical properties such as molecular weight, vapour pressure, octanol/air partitioning coefficient, octanol/water partition coefficient, water solubility and organic carbon/water partitioning coefficient that influence the distribution pattern of these contaminants in the environment. In addition, this chapter provides an evaluation of the concentrations of these chemicals in various environmental media such as indoor and outdoor air, indoor dust, soil and sediment, sewage sludge, biota and food, and human tissues.
Part of the book: Flame Retardants