Towards development of a rapid and effective non-destructive testing strategy to identify brominated flame retardants in the plastics of consumer products

Gallen, Christie, Banks, Andrew, Brandsma, Sicco, Baduel, Christine, Thai, Phong, Eaglesham, Geoff, Heffernan, Amy, Leonards, Pim, Bainton, Paul, & Mueller, Jochen F. (2014) Towards development of a rapid and effective non-destructive testing strategy to identify brominated flame retardants in the plastics of consumer products. Science of The Total Environment, 491-492, pp. 255-265.

View at publisher


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a class of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) once extensively used in the plastics of a wide range of consumer products. The listing of certain congeners that are constituents of commercial PBDE mixtures (including c-octaBDE) in the Stockholm Convention and tightening regulation of many other BFRs in recent years have created the need for a rapid and effective method of identifying BFR-containing plastics. A three-tiered testing strategy comparing results from non-destructive testing (X-ray fluorescence (XRF)) (n = 1714), a surface wipe test (n = 137) and destructive chemical analysis (n = 48) was undertaken to systematically identify BFRs in a wide range of consumer products. XRF rapidly identified bromine in 92% of products later confirmed to contain BFRs. Surface wipes of products identified tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), c-octaBDE congeners and BDE-209 with relatively high accuracy (> 75%) when confirmed by destructive chemical analysis. A relationship between the amounts of BFRs detected in surface wipes and subsequent destructive testing shows promise in predicting not only the types of BFRs present but also estimating the concentrations present. Information about the types of products that may contain persistent BFRs will assist regulators in implementing policies to further reduce the occurrence of these chemicals in consumer products.

Impact and interest:

15 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
11 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 89010
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants (Dioxin2013, Daegu/Korea)
Keywords: Plastic, c-OctaBDE, X-ray fluorescence, Surface wipe, BFRs, Consumer products
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.01.074
ISSN: 0048-9697
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 14 Oct 2015 01:27
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 02:40

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page