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Environmental science & technology

Evidence for Anaerobic Dechlorination of Dechlorane Plus in Sewage Sludge.


PMID 26572321

Abstract

The environmental occurrence of dechlorination moieties from the high production volume flame retardant, Dechlorane Plus (DP), has largely been documented; however, the sources have yet to be well understood. In addition, few laboratory-based studies exist which identify the cause for the occurrence of these chemicals in the environment or humans. Anaerobic dechlorination of the two DP isomers was investigated using a laboratory-simulated wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) environment where anaerobic digestion is used as part of the treatment regime. Known amounts of each isomer were added separately to sewage sludge which provided the electron-donating substrate and at prescribed time points in the incubation, a portion of the media was removed and analyzed for DP and any dechlorination metabolites. After 7 days, monohydrodechlorinated products were observed for both the syn- and anti-DP which were continued throughout the duration of our study (49 days) in an increasing manner giving a calculated formation rate of 0.48 ± 0.09 and 0.79 ± 0.12 pmols/day for syn- and anti-DP, respectively. Furthermore, we observed a second monohydrodechlorinated product only in the anti-DP isomer incubation medium. This strongly suggests that anti-DP is more susceptible to anaerobic degradation than the syn isomer. We also provide compelling evidence to the location of chlorine loss in the dechlorination DP analogues. Finally, the dechlorination DP moieties formed in our study matched the retention times and identification of those observed in surficial sediment located downstream of the WWTP.

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