Journal of hazardous materials

Long-term trends of PBDEs, triclosan, and triclocarban in biosolids from a wastewater treatment plant in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US.

PMID 25282513


In the US, land application of biosolids has been utilized in government-regulated programs to recycle valuable nutrients and organic carbon that would otherwise be incinerated or buried in landfills. While many benefits have been reported, there are concerns that these practices represent a source of organic micropollutants to the environment. In this study, biosolids samples from a wastewater treatment plant in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US were collected approximately every 2 months over a 7-year period and analyzed for brominated diphenyl ethers (BDE-47, BDE-99, and BDE-209), triclosan, and triclocarban. During the collection period of 2005-2011, concentrations of the brominated diphenyl ethers BDE-47+BDE-99 decreased by 42%, triclocarban decreased by 47%, but BDE-209 and triclosan remained fairly constant. Observed reductions in contaminant concentrations could not be explained by different seasons or by volumetric changes of wastewaters arriving at the treatment plant and instead may be the result of the recent phaseout of BDE-47 and BDE-99 as well as potential reductions in the use of triclocarban.