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An electronics recycling facility began operation at the municipal landfill site for the City of Edmonton, Canada in March 2008 with the goal of processing 30,000 tonnes of electronic wastes per year. Of the many by-products from the process, brominated fire retardants such as hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) can evolve off of e-wastes and be released into the environmental media. HBCD has been identified by many countries and international bodies as a chemical of concern because of its ability to bioaccumulate in the ecosystem. An evaluation of the potential emission of HBCD indicates that up to 500 kg per year may be released from a landfill and recycling facility such as that operating in Edmonton. A multimedia fugacity model was used to evaluate the dispersion and fate of atmospherically emitted HBCD traveling into surrounding agricultural land and forested parkland. The model indicates that the three isomers of HBCD partitioned into environmental media similarly. Much of the HBCD is lost through atmospheric advection, but it is also found in soil and sediment. Modeled air concentrations are similar to those measured at locations with a history of e-waste recycling. Since HBCD has been shown to bioaccumulate, the HBCD released from this source has the long-term potential to affect agricultural food crops and the park ecosystem. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Geoffrey Tomko, Karen M McDonald. Environmental fate of hexabromocyclododecane from a new Canadian electronic recycling facility. Journal of environmental management. 2013 Jan 15;114:324-7

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PMID: 23137912

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