Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Regulated and Unregulated Halogenated Flame Retardants in Peregrine Falcon Eggs from Greenland

New publication by Katrin Vorkamp, Knud Falk, Søren Møller, Frank F. Rigét, and Peter B. Sørensen

2018.01.30 | Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen


Median levels of regulated flame retardants, i.e., polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), brominated biphenyl (BB)-153, and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), in 33–48 eggs of peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) from Greenland were 1909, 359, and 5.98 ng/g lipid weight (lw), respectively, and generally intermediate to levels in North America and Europe. Unregulated flame retardants had lower median concentrations of 1.06 (2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate, EH-TBB), 2.42 (1,2-bis(2,4,6-tribromophenoxy)-ethane, BTBPE), 0.52 (2,4,6-tribromophenyl 2,3-dibromopropyl ether, DPTE), and 4.78 (dechlorane plus) ng/g lw. Although these compounds are often described as recent replacements for PBDEs, they were also present in eggs from the 1980s. BDE-209 was the only compound with a significant increase (+7.2% annual change) between 1986 and 2014, while BB-153 and DPTE decreased significantly (−8.0% and −2.8% annual change, respectively). Dechlorane plus showed a nonsignificant increase. Individual birds, equipped with light-logging geolocators, confirmed the contaminant exposure over a large geographical area as the birds spent nearly equal time periods in their breeding and wintering grounds in Greenland and Central/South America, respectively, interrupted by 5–6 weeks of migration through North America.


Environ. Sci. Technol., 2018, 52 (2), pp 474–483. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b04866

Arctic Research Centre