Please find the abstract for this month’s SOCAAR seminar attached.
Halogenated flame retardants: past, present and future
Dr. Emma Goosey
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Diamond Environmental Research Group
Department of Geography, University of Toronto
Halogenated flame retardants have been added to commercial goods and products since the
1970s to reduce the spread of fire. Their applications include textile, furniture foam, construction
materials, and electronics (plastic casings and circuit boards). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
(PBDEs), organobromine compounds, dominated the market in the 90’s, and consisted of three
commercial mixtures. Within a decade there was mounting evidence showed the global
distribution of PBDEs and their persistence, bioaccumulative and toxic properties. By 2004, two
PBDE formulations were phased out by regulation in Europe and voluntarily by industry in North
America. Since then, replacement compounds have been found in the environment. These
replacement compounds include halogenated and organophosphorus compounds.
I will discuss the prevalence of these ‘novel’ flame retardants measured across Toronto by means
of passive and active air sampling, in both indoor and outdoor environments. Concentrations
remain highest indoors because of the abundance of sources, and have been measured in air,
dust, window films and dermal wipes. Outdoors a monitoring transect across the city indicated
novel flame retardants concentrations are spatially distributed, with an urban pulse being
generated by both population and building density. Suburban regions are on an order of
magnitude lower than downtown Toronto.
February 6, 2013, 3 - 4 pm
Wallberg Building, 200 College Street, Room 407
This seminar will be recorded and will be available after the talk at the following
Recordings of past SOCAAR seminars can also be found here.