To prevent recycling of waste articles containing restricted brominated flame retardants (BFRs), the EU has introduced low POP concentration limit (LPCL) values such that articles containing such BFRs (sum of Penta- and Octa-BDE polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), BDE-209 and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD)) at concentrations exceeding the LPCL (1,000 mg/kg each) cannot be recycled and instead must be treated in such a way that the BFR content of such articles is destroyed. . Given the widespread use of PBDEs and HBCDD in applications such as electrical and electronic goods, polystyrene building insulation foam, as well as seating foam and fabrics in homes, offices, and cars; monitoring compliance with LPCLs represents a substantial undertaking, compounded by the fact that conventional methods for measuring PBDEs and HBCDD are destructive, time-consuming, expensive, and cannot be conducted in situ at waste handling sites. We evaluated the feasibility of using portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers to determine whether the measurement of bromine in waste articles was an adequate surrogate metric to determine exceedance of LPCL values in Irish waste. The ongoing efficacy of this method was assessed by performing a repeat of the study four years later. This presentation presents the results from the initial sampling campaign in 2015, and highlights the complications posed by alternative BFRs entering the waste stream.

Dr Daniel Drage is a Lecturer in Environmental Health in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham and holds an adjunct position as an Honorary Research Fellow at QAEHS. Dr Drage has a range of experience using mass spectrometry techniques to investigate the presence and effects of persistent and emerging organic contaminants in a range of indoor and outdoor environments. He has made contributions to the fields of human exposure, wildlife exposure as well as waste management.


PACE Building, 20 Cornwall Street, Woolloongabba
Room 5035 (Level 5)