Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 36, pp 36624–36635 | Cite as

Hexabromocyclododecane: concentrations and isomer profiles from sources to environmental sinks

  • Krzysztof Okonski
  • Lisa MelymukEmail author
  • Jiří Kohoutek
  • Jana Klánová
Research Article


Concentrations and isomer compositions of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) were measured in six matrices in the Czech Republic (HBCD technical mixture; consumer products; indoor and outdoor air at industrial, urban and background locations; soils; and sediments) to provide insight into changes in concentrations and isomer profiles between environmental sources and environmental sinks. A distinct gradient of air concentrations was observed, from 1600 ng/m3 in the industrial area to < 10 pg/m3 in urban and background air. Isomer profiles also showed a distinct gradient in air, from 95% γ-HBCD in industrial air to 40% γ-HBCD in background air, suggesting the influence of differential atmospheric transport and phototransformation of γ- to α-HBCD. Concentrations and isomer compositions in consumer products were highly variable and indicated differences between products with intentional addition of HBCD as a flame retardant versus those with HBCD as an impurity, e.g., from recycled plastic. Understanding the isomer-specific environmental distributions and processes remains important for risk assessment and toxicology, considering the continued use of HBCD and the isomer-specific differences in uptake, metabolism, and toxicity, and further, demonstrates the utility of isomer profiles to better understand environmental processes of HBCDs.


HBCD Flame retardants Atmospheric transport Sources Isomer profiles Consumer products 



We thank Michal Oravec for his help with LC-MS/MS analysis, Ondřej Sáňka for creating figures, and Roman Prokeš for collecting the samples. This research has been supported by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (LO1214) and RECETOX Research Infrastructure (LM2015051 and CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_013/0001761).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3381_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (796 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 795 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science, RECETOX (Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment)Masaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic

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