2012 RMP Insert in SFEP's Estuary News: Flame Retardants in San Francisco Bay
This annual RMP contribution will be distributed as an insert in the October issue of Estuary News, published by the San Francisco Estuary Partnership. This edition summarizes information on flame retardant concentrations and trends in San Francisco Bay
The insert highlights two recently published articles, co-authored by former SFEI scientist Susan Klosterhaus, "Brominated and Chlorinated Flame Retardants in San Francisco Bay Sediments and Wildlife" and "Identification of Flame Retardants in Polyurethane Foam Collected from Baby Products" (winner of ES&T's 2011 Best Paper of the Year award).
Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants are described as contaminants of diminishing concern because of falling PBDE concentrations in Bay water and in the food web. The decline in PBDE loads is attributed to the ban of two major PBDE classes, penta-BDE and octa-BDE, and the recent phase-out of deca-BDE. Reductions in PBDE use have led to increased use of organophosphate and other brominated and chlorinated PBDE replacements, many of which have been detected in Bay samples. Little is known about these PBDE replacements. The RMP will continue to be on the lookout for flame retardants and other contaminants of emerging concern that make their way into commerce and pose threats to Bay water quality.