Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) in Sediments of the Huron–Erie Corridor

  • Ken G. DrouillardEmail author
  • Yu Qian
  • Joseph Lafontaine
  • Nargis Ismail
  • Kerry McPhedran
  • Ewa Szalinska
  • Alice Grgicak-Mannion


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) were measured in 182 sediments from the Huron–Erie Corridor, North America. The median (5–95 percentile) Corridor ∑PBDE concentration was 1.03 ng/g dry wt (0.25–13.48 ng/g dry wt). Dry weight ∑PBDEs were elevated in U.S. waters of the Detroit River (US DR) and lowest in Canadian waters of Lake St. Clair (CA LSC). Sediment total organic carbon (TOC) explained some of the variation in ∑PBDEs, particularly in upstream waterbodies except for the Detroit River where local sources were apparent in the US DR and TOC-dilution occurred in CA DR. Canadian Federal Sediment Quality guidelines were exceeded at 19 stations, 14 occurring in the US DR. ∑Hazard Quotients (∑HQ) had a median (5–95 percentile) Corridor value of 0.46 (ND to 2.27). By strata, 43.2% of US DR stations had ∑HQ’s greater than 1 while 21.3% of US SCR stations exceeded a value of 1.


Persistent organic pollutants Contaminated sediments Great Lakes Brominated flame retardants 



This work was funded by a Great Lakes Sustainability Fund (Environment Climate Change Canada, Grant No. ARN13-305) grant and Canada-Ontario Agreement funds (Environment Ministry Conservation and Parks, Ontario) to Ken G. Drouillard and Alice Grgicak-Mannion. Additional support was provided by Esri Canada via scholarship support of Mr. Joe Lafontaine and in-kind contributions to GIS software to the University of Windsor.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Great Lakes Institute for Environmental ResearchUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  2. 2.School of Ecology and Environmental SciencesYunnan UniversityKunmingChina
  3. 3.Department of Civil, Geological and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Environment ProtectionAGH University of Science and TechnologyKrakówPoland

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