Online Program

Fate of polybrominated diphenyl ethers during wastewater treatment process

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Kristy A. Siegel, MPH, CPH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Foday Jaward, PhD, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Background: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a flame retardant, are widespread in home and office consumer goods, electronics, furnishings, and textiles, and may pose health risks. Those health risks include developmental and nervous system toxicity, as well as endocrine disruption. Due to the ubiquitous nature of PBDEs, there is a need to identify the waste streams containing PBDEs that release into the environment. One such source is wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). The purpose of this study is to investigate the fate and transport of PBDEs within the WWTP by examining the ambient air, wastewater, and sludge throughout the WWT process. Methods: Ambient air, wastewater, and sludge were collected over a 3-month period from a large, tertiary WWTP in West Central Florida which discharges effluent into the Bay, and produces sludge for land application. All extraction and analysis of samples followed pilot-tested EPA standard methods. Results: Ambient air concentrations were highest at the carbonaceous tanks, with a total concentration of 9 ng/m3 of the eight PBDEs of interest. Pilot study results of the wastewater found a total concentration range from 8.23E-04 to 247.04 pg/uL, with the largest PBDE reduction occurring at the nitrification reactors. Final results of wastewater and sludge analysis will be available May 2013. Mass loading of PBDEs will also be discussed. Conclusions: By examining total releases of PBDEs from the WWTP, a complete picture of the fate and transport of these emerging pollutants of concern can be created. This will allow researchers, engineers, and WWTP operators to discuss how best to reduce the impact of PBDE discharges to the environment.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the emerging pollutant of concern, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Describe the wastewater treatment process, and the environmental impact of its releases.

Keyword(s): Environmental Exposures, Chemical Analyses

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a doctoral candidate, I have completed this research as part of my dissertation work. I have been working on environmental exposure issues for over 10 years. I have also presented previous research at local and national conferences and meetings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.