Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Environmental Impact of Flame Retardants (Persistence and Biodegradability)

By Osnat Segev, Ariel Kushmaro and Asher Brenner


Flame-retardants (FR) are a group of anthropogenic environmental contaminants used at relatively high concentrations in many applications. Currently, the largest market group of FRs is the brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Many of the BFRs are considered toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. Bioremediation of contaminated water, soil and sediments is a possible solution for the problem. However, the main problem with this approach is the lack of knowledge concerning appropriate microorganisms, biochemical pathways and operational conditions facilitating degradation of these chemicals at an acceptable rate. This paper reviews and discusses current knowledge and recent developments related to the environmental fate and impact of FRs in natural systems and in engineered treatment processes

Topics: Review
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.g... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    1. (2003). A review on human exposure to brominated flame retardants – particularly polybrominated diphenyl ethers.
    2. (2006). A.: Biodegradability of tetrabromobisphenol A and tribromophenol by activated sludge. Ecotoxicology
    3. (2000). Activity and survival of tribromophenol degrading bacteria in a contaminated desert soil.
    4. (2009). Aerobic biodegradation of the brominated flame retardants, Dibromoneopentyl Glycol and Tribromoneopentyl Alcohol. Biodegradation
    5. (2002). An overview of brominated flame retardants in the environment. Chemosphere
    6. (2003). An overview of commercially used brominated flame retardants, their applications, their use patterns in different countries/regions and possible modes of release.
    7. (2006). Anaerobic degradation of brominated flame retardants in sewage sludge.
    8. (2006). Anaerobic dehalogenation of halogenated organic compound: Novel strategies for bioremediation of contaminated sediments.
    9. (2003). Anaerobic microbial and photochemical degradation of 4,4'-dibromodiphenyl ether. Water Res.
    10. (2004). Anaerobic microbial dehalogenation.
    11. (2000). Anaerobic-aerobic process for microbial degradation of
    12. (1994). Bacterial dehalogenases: biochemistry, genetics, and biotechnological applications.
    13. (1987). Bacterial O-Methylation of halogen-substituted phenols.
    14. (2006). Biodegradation and product identification of [ 14C]hexabromocyclododecane in wastewater sludge and freshwater aquatic sediments.
    15. (2008). Biodegradation of 2,4,6-tribromophenol by Ochrobacterium sp.
    16. (2005). Biodegradation of 2,4,6-Tribromophenol during transport in fractured chalk.
    17. (2007). Biodegradation of Dibromoneopentyl glycol by bacterial consortium. Chemosphere
    18. (2003). Biological dehalogenation and halogenation reactions. Chemosphere
    19. (2009). Biomagnification of polybrominated
    20. (2006). Brominated flame retardant concentration and trends in abiotic media. Chemosphere
    21. (2002). Brominated flame retardants – a nuisance in thermal waste processing.
    22. (2005). Brominated flame retardants and other organobromines in Norwegian bird eggs. Chemosphere
    23. (2008). Brominated flame retardants and polychlorinated biphenyls in fish from the river Scheldt,
    24. (2007). Brominated flame retardants in North-East Atlantic Marine Ecosystems. Environ. Health Perspect.
    25. (2005). Brominated flame retardants rising levels of concern. Health Care With Out Harm (HCWH):
    26. (2004). Brominated flame retardants: cause for concern? Environ. Health Perspect.
    27. (2000). Brominated flame retardants: Toxicity and ecotoxicity; Environment project No.568. Danish Environmental Protection Agency: København,
    28. (2009). by the authors; licensee Molecular Diversity Preservation International,
    29. (2008). Concentrations and specific loads of brominated flame retardants in sewage sludge. Chemosphere
    30. (2007). Deposition versus photochemical removal of PBDEs from Lake Superior air.
    31. (2000). Determinants of polybrominated biphenyl serum decay among women in the Michigan PBB cohort. Environ. Health Perspect.
    32. (2006). Determination of the flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol A in air samples by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.
    33. (2007). Effect of Tween 80 and β-cyclodextrin on degradation of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) by White Rot Fungi. Chemosphere.
    34. (2005). Effects of the brominated flame retardant tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA) on cell signaling and function of Mytilus hemocytes: involvement of MAP kinases and protein
    35. (2003). Environmental release and behavior of brominated flame retardants.
    36. (2002). Exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers and tetrabromobisphenol A among computer technicians.
    37. (1999). Flame retardant exposure: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in blood from Swedish workers. Environ. Health Perspect.
    38. (2001). Flame retardants in indoor air at an electronics recycling plant and at other work environment.
    39. (2008). Flame Retardants. Ceresana Research:
    40. From PCBs to highly toxic metabolites by the biphenyl pathway.
    41. (2005). Hexabromocyclododecane in marine species from the Western Scheldt Estuary: diastereoisomer- and enantiomer- specific accumulation.
    42. (2003). I.D.: Dehalogenation – Microbial processes and environmental applications;
    43. (2007). Introduction to flame retardancy and polymer flammability. In Flame retardant polymer nanocomposites;
    44. (1999). Isolation from Estuarine Sediments of a Desulfovibrio strain which can grow on lactate coupled to the reductive dehalogenation of 2,4,6-tribromophenol.
    45. (2006). Large effects from small exposures. III. Endocrine mechanisms mediating effects of bisphenol A at levels of human exposure. Endocrinology
    46. (2006). Levels and trends of brominated flame retardants in the Arctic. Chemosphere
    47. (2006). Levels and trends of brominated flame retardants in the European environment. Chemosphere
    48. (2008). Levels and trends of HBCD and BDEs in the European and Asian environments with some information for other BFRs. Chemosphere
    49. (2002). Levels of Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants in animals representing different trophic levels of the North Sea food web.
    50. (2003). Metabolism in the toxicokinetics and fate of brominated flame retardants – a review.
    51. (2006). Microbial Reductive Debromination of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs).
    52. (2001). Modifying specific properties: flammability-flame retardants. In Additives for plastics handbooks;
    53. (2008). New insight into the endocrine disrupting effects of brominated flame retardants. Chemosphere
    54. (2007). Occupational exposure to Hexabromocyclododecane at an Industrial Plant.
    55. (2004). Organophosphate flame retardants and plasticizers in indoor air. Chemosphere
    56. (2004). Organophosphorus flame retardants and plasticisers in surface waters. Sci. Total Environ.
    57. (2008). Organophosphorus flame retardants and plasticizers in water and air II. Analytical methology. Trends Analyt. Chem.
    58. (1998). Overview of flame retardant. Chemistry Today
    59. (2008). Pathways for the anaerobic microbial debromination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers.
    60. (2004). PBDE and HBCD levels in blood from Dutch mothers and infants – analysis of a Dutch Groningen infant cohort. Organohalogen Compound.
    61. (2005). Persistent organic pollutants in mangrove food webs in Singapore. Chemosphere
    62. (2004). Photochemical decomposition of 15 polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners in methanol/water.
    63. (2008). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and HBCD in bird eggs of South Africa. Chemosphere
    64. (2004). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers contamination of United States food.
    65. (2003). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in breast milk from Uppsala County,
    66. (2005). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in house dust and clothes dryer lint.
    67. (2003). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in influents, suspended particulate matter, sediments, sewage treatment plant and effluents and biota from Netherlands.
    68. (2008). Reductive debromination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in anaerobic sediment and a biomimetic system.
    69. (2003). Screening of organophosphorus compounds and their distribution in various indoor environments. Chemosphere
    70. (2008). Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) in tissues of humans, dolphins, and sharks from the United States. Chemosphere
    71. (2003). The effect of brominated flame retardants on neurotransmitter uptake into rat brain synaptosomes and vesicles.
    72. (2004). The environmental occurrence of hexabromocyclododecane in Sweden. Chemosphere
    73. (2002). The significance of brominated flame retardants in the environment: current understanding. Issues and challenges. Chemosphere
    74. (2005). The transformation of hexabromocyclododecane in aerobic and anaerobic soils and aquatic sediments. Water Res.
    75. (1998). The xenoestrogen bisphenol A induces growth, differentiation, and c-fos gene expression in the female reproductive tract. Endocrinology
    76. (2008). Time trend of hexabromocyclododecane in the breast milk of Japanese women. Chemosphere
    77. (2003). Toxic effects of brominated flame retardants in man and in wildlife.
    78. (2000). Video display units: an emmition source of the contact allergenic flame retardant triphenyl phosphate in the indoor environment.

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.