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    Organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) are emerging environmental pollutants that cause endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity, and reproductive toxicity. Sewage sludge is an important source of tri-OPFRs that are released into the environment. The occurrence, distribution, and ecological risk of OPFRs in the full-scale "Cambi® thermal hydrolysis (TH) + advanced anaerobic digestion (AAD) + plate-frame pressure filtration" sludge treatment process is closely related to the application of sewage sludge. We tested sludge samples from a wastewater treatment plant in Beijing, China. Nine tri-OPFRs were detected in the sludge samples collected at different treatment units during four seasons. The ΣOPFRs decreased from 1,742.65-2,579.68 ng/g to 971.48-1,702.22 ng/g. The mass flow of tri-OPFRs in treated sludge decreased by 61.4%, 48.9%, 42.4%, and 63.9% in spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively, effectively reducing the corresponding ecological risk. The ecological risk of tri-OPFRs in sludge in forestland utilization mainly lies in chlorinated tri-OPFRs, especially TCPP and TCEP. No >42.20 t/hm2 of sludge could be used continuously for one year to prevent tri-OPFRs from exceeding the low ecological risk level, indicating that the current commonly applied proportion of sludge (1.6-30 t/hm2) will likely not raise the ecological risk of tri-OPFRs. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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    Yuhui Zhang, Bing Zhao, Qian Chen, Fenfen Zhu, Jiawei Wang, Xingmin Fu, Tiantian Zhou. Fate of organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) in the "Cambi® TH + AAD" of sludge in a WWTP in Beijing, China. Waste management (New York, N.Y.). 2023 Sep 01;169:363-373

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    PMID: 37523947

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