Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19814–19827 | Cite as

Towards integrating toxicity characterization into environmental studies: case study of bromine in soils

  • Tatiana BratecEmail author
  • Nienke Kirchhübel
  • Natalia Baranovskaya
  • Bertrand Laratte
  • Olivier Jolliet
  • Leonid Rikhvanov
  • Peter Fantke
Research Article


Pollution from bromine and some of its related compounds is currently unregulated in soil from Russia and other countries, and tools for sound assessment of environmental impacts of bromine contamination are largely missing. Hence, assessing potential implications for humans and ecosystems of bromine soil contamination is urgently needed, which requires the combination of measured soil concentrations from environmental studies and quantified potential toxicity impacts. To address this need, we used data from an experimental study assessing bromine in soils (384 samples) of Tomsk oblast, Russia, starting from measured concentrations obtained by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis in an earlier study. From these data, we calculated the bromine mass in soils and used these as starting point to characterize related cumulative impacts on human health and ecosystems in the Tomsk region, using a global scientific consensus model for screening-level comparative toxicity characterization of chemical emissions. Results show that the combination of sampling methodology with toxicity characterization techniques presents a new approach to be used in environmental studies aimed at environmental assessment and analysis of a territory. Our results indicate that it is important to account for substance-specific chemical reaction pathways and transfer processes, as well as to consider region-specific environmental characteristics. Our approach will help complement environmental assessment results with environmental sustainability elements, to consider potential tradeoffs in impacts, related to soil pollution, in support of improved emission and pollution reduction strategies.


Bromine contamination Tomsk oblast Characterization factors USEtox Human toxicity Freshwater ecotoxicity 


Funding information

This research was supported by the Marie Curie project Quan-Tox (grant agreement no. 631910), funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5244_MOESM1_ESM.docx (344 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 343 kb)


  1. Banks D, Adam AM, Bayliss V, Hogg GM, Bleuten W, Dees M, Karnachuk OV, Le Blansch K, Marquand J (2000) Environmental protection in the Tomsk region of the Russian Federation: a case study. Environ Manag 26:35–46. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bezuglova OS, Okolelova AA (2012) On the normalization of arsenic content in soils (in Russian). Zhivye biokosnye sist 1:1-11.Google Scholar
  3. Bumbalova A, Havranek E, Harangozo M, Riečanská E, Dejmkova E (1991) Multielement XRF-analysis of blood from patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. J Radioanal Nucl Ch 153:257–265. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chemical Encyclopedia (1988) In: Knunyants IL (ed) 5 volumes (in Russian), vol 1. Soviet Encyclopedia, Moscow, p 623Google Scholar
  5. Chiroma TM, Ebewele RO, Hymore FK (2014) Comparative assessment of heavy metal levels in soil, vegetables and urban grey waste water used for irrigation in Yola and Kano. Int Ref J Eng Sci 3:1–9.Google Scholar
  6. Dong Y, Gandhi N, Hauschild MZ (2014) Development of comparative toxicity potentials of 14 cationic metals in freshwater. Chemosphere 112:26–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ehmann W, Vance D (1996) Studies of trace element involvement in human disease by in vitro activation analysis. J Radioanal Nucl Ch 203:429–445. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Emsley J (1989) The elements. Clarendon, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  9. Evseyeva NS (2001) Geography of Tomsk oblast (in Russian). Nature and Natural Resources. Tomsk: TSU, 2001, 223 p.Google Scholar
  10. Fan SM, Jacob DJ (1992) Surface ozone depletion in Arctic spring sustained by bromine reactions on aerosols. Nature 359:522–524. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fantke P, Illner N (2019) Goods that are good enough: introducing an absolute sustainability perspective for managing chemicals in consumer products. Curr Opin Green Sustain Chem 15:91–97. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fantke P, Jolliet O (2016) Life cycle human health impacts of 875 pesticides. Int J Life Cycle Assess 21:722–733. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fantke P, Friedrich R, Jolliet O (2012) Health impact and damage cost assessment of pesticides in Europe. Environ Int 49:9–17. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fantke P, Bijster M, Guignard C et al. (2017) USEtox® 2.0 Documentation (Version 1). USEtox® Team, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. Scholar
  15. Fantke P, Aylward L, Bare J, Chiu WA, Dodson R, Dwyer R, Ernstoff A, Howard B, Jantunen M, Jolliet O, Judson R, Kirchhübel N, Li D, Miller A, Paoli G, Price P, Rhomberg L, Shen B, Shin HM, Teeguarden J, Vallero D, Wambaugh J, Wetmore BA, Zaleski R, McKone TE (2018a) Advancements in life cycle human exposure and toxicity characterization. Environ Health Perspect 126:125001. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fantke P, Aurisano N, Backhaus T, Bulle C, Chapman PM, Cooper CA et al (2018b) Toward harmonizing ecotoxicity characterization in life cycle impact assessment. Environ Toxicol Chem 37:2955–2971. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Federal Agency of Fishery (2019) Available online (in Russian) Accessed: 20-Jan-2018
  18. Federal State Statistics Service (2019) Available online (in Russian) Accessed: 20-Jan-2018
  19. Filov VA (1988) Harmful chemicals. Inorganic compounds of elements of Groups I-IV (in Russian): In Filov, V.A. (Ed.), Chemistry, 260. Google Scholar
  20. Flury M, Papritz A (1993) Bromide in the natural environment: occurrence and toxicity. J Environ Qual 22(4):747–758. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gandolli SD (1999) The dictionary of substances and their effects. Edited by: Royal Society of Chemistry, London, 7 VolumesGoogle Scholar
  22. GN (2003) "Maximum permissible concentrations (MPC) of chemical substances in the water of water bodies of drinking, household cultural-community water use”, Hygienic norms, Applied 30 Avril 2003, № 78 (in Russian), MoscowGoogle Scholar
  23. GN (2003) “Maximum permissible concentration (MPC) of the pollutants in the atmospheric air of the inhabited areas”, Hygienic norms (in Russian), Moscow Google Scholar
  24. GN (2003) “Maximum permissible concentrations (MPC) for hazardous substances in workplace air”, Health Standars, Approved 27 April 2003 (in Russian), Moscow. Google Scholar
  25. GOST (1984) "Protection of the nature. Soils. Methods of sampling and sample preparation for chemical, bacteriological, helminthological analysis", Standard, Introduced 19 December (in Russian), MoscowGoogle Scholar
  26. Greenwood NN, Ershno A (2008) Chemistry of elements: in 2 volumes (in Russian). Binom, 670 p.Google Scholar
  27. Heijungs R (1995) Harmonization of methods for impact assessment. Environ Sci Pollut R 2:217–224. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Henderson AD, Hauschild MZ, van de Meent D, Huijbregts MAJ, Larsen HF, Margni M, McKone TE, Payet J, Rosenbaum RK, Jolliet O (2011) USEtox fate and ecotoxicity factors for comparative assessment of toxic emissions in life cycle analysis: sensitivity to key chemical properties. Int J Life Cycle Assess 16:701–709. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency (1994) Handbook of parameter values for the prediction of radionuclide transfer in temperate environments. Technical reports series No.364. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna. STI/DOC/010/364, 87 p.Google Scholar
  30. IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency (2010) Handbook of parameter values for the prediction of radionuclide transfer in terrestrial and freshwater environments. Technical reports series No 472. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna. STI/DOC/010/472, 208 pGoogle Scholar
  31. IUCLID (2000) Bromine, in European Commission. European Chemicals Bureau:1–49Google Scholar
  32. Kabata-Pendias A (2010) Trace elements in soils and plants. CRC pressGoogle Scholar
  33. Kennedy Jr WE, Strenge DL (1992) Residual radioactive contamination from decommissioning: volume 1, technical basis for translating contamination levels to annual total effective dose equivalent. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest Laboratory; prepared for US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. NUREG/CR-5512-Vol.1, United States.Google Scholar
  34. Kesner M (1999) Bromine and bromine compounds from the Dead Sea (Ch.6). Israel products in the service of people Weizmann Institute of Science the Ministry of Education and Dead Sea Bromine Group, 207-275 pp.Google Scholar
  35. Konarbaeva GA (2008) The halogens in the natural objects of the south of Western Siberia (in Russian). Dissertation, Novosibirsk, 365 p.Google Scholar
  36. Leri AC, Myneni SC (2012) Natural organobromine in terrestrial ecosystems. Geochim Cosmochim Ac 77:1–10. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lide DR (1993) Basic laboratory and industrial chemicals: a CRC quick reference handbook. CRC Press, 384 p.Google Scholar
  38. Limanova EG (2005) Methods of environmental regulation in Russia and abroad: analysis of the choice of environmental policy instruments and their effectiveness (in Russian). Mir economiki i upravleniya 5(2):1-18Google Scholar
  39. McCall AS, Cummings CF, Bhave G, Vanacore R, Page-McCaw A, Hudson BG (2014) Bromine is an essential trace element for assembly of collagen IV scaffolds in tissue development and architecture. Cell 157:1380–1392. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Moreno J, Fatela F, Leorri E, Moreno F, Freitas MC, Valente T, Araújo MF, Gómez-Navarro JJ, Guise L, Blake WH (2017) Bromine soil/sediment enrichment in tidal salt marshes as a potential indicator of climate changes driven by solar activity: new insights from W coast Portuguese estuaries. Sci Total Environ 580:324–338. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nazer IK, Hallak AB, Abu-Gharbieh WI, Saleh NS (1982) Bromine residues in the soil and fruits of certain crops after soil fumigation with methyl bromide. J Radioanal Chem 74:113–116. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Neal C, Neal M, Hughes S, Wickham H, Hill L, Harman S (2007) Bromine and bromide in rainfall, cloud, stream and groundwater in the Plynlimon area of mid-Wales. Hydrol Earth Syst Sc 11:301–312. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ngole-Jeme VM, Fantke P (2017) Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil. PLoS One 12:e0172517. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pehrsson K, Lins LE (1983) The role of trace elements in uremic heart failure. Nephron 34:93–98. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Perminova TA, Baranovskaya NV, Laratte B, Zhornyak LV, Sudyko AF (2017) Bromine in the soils of Tomsk region (in Russian). Bulletin of the Tomsk Polytechnic University. Geo Аssets Engineering 328:33–45Google Scholar
  46. Rikhvanov LP, Yazikov E, Sukhikh J, Baranovskaya N et al (2006) Ecogeochemical features of natural environments of Tomsk district and diseases of the population (in Russian). Tandem-Art, TomskGoogle Scholar
  47. Rosenbaum RK, Bachmann TM, Gold LS, Huijbregts MAJ, Jolliet O, Juraske R, Koehler A, Larsen HF, MacLeod M, Margni M, McKone TE, Payet J, Schuhmacher M, van de Meent D, Hauschild MZ (2008) USEtox—the UNEP-SETAC toxicity model: recommended characterisation factors for human toxicity and freshwater ecotoxicity in life cycle impact assessment. Int J Life Cycle Assess 13:532–546. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tarasova N, Makarova A, Fantke P, Shlyakhov P (2018) Estimating chemical footprint: contamination with mercury and its compounds. Pure Appl Chem 90:857–868. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Territorial body of the Federal State Statistics Service of Tomsk region (2019) Available online (in Russian): Accessed: 20-Jan-2018
  50. US Environmental Protection Agency (2005) Human health risk assessment protocol for hazardous waste combustion facilities. Appendix A-2. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C. EPA530-R-05-006Google Scholar
  51. US Environmental Protection Agency OPPTS (2010) Bromine final registration review decision case 4015. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington D.C. EPA–HQ–OPP–2009–0167; FRL–8811–4Google Scholar
  52. Valdés A, Zanobetti A, Halonen JI, Cifuentes L, Morata D, Schwartz J (2012) Elemental concentrations of ambient particles and cause specific mortality in Santiago, Chile: a time series study. Environ Health 11(82).
  53. Van Leeuwen FXR, Den Tonkelaar EM, Van Logten MJ (1983) Toxicity of sodium bromide in rats: effects on endocrine system and reproduction. Food Chem Toxicol 21:383–389. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Vinogradov AP (1939) Iodine in sea ooze. On the origin of iodine—bromine waters in oil—bearing areas (in Russian). Proceedings of the biogeochemical laboratory of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR 5:19–32Google Scholar
  55. Vinogradov AP (1957) Geochemistry of rare and trace chemical elements in soils (in Russian). Publishing House of the USSR Academy of Sciences, 230 p.Google Scholar
  56. Westh TB, Hauschild MZ, Birkved M, Jørgensen MS, Rosenbaum RK, Fantke P (2015) The USEtox story: a survey of model developer visions and user requirements. Int J Life Cycle Assess 20:299–310. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. World Health Organization (1988) Bromide ion. In; Pesticide residues in food—1988 evaluations. Part II—Toxicology. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 93/2Google Scholar
  58. World Health Organization (2009) Bromide in drinking water. Background document for development of WHO guidelines for drinking-water quality. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. WHO/HSE/WSH/09.01/6Google Scholar
  59. World Health Organization (2011) Guidelines for drinking-water quality. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. ISBN 9789241548151Google Scholar
  60. Yamada Y (1968) Occurrence of bromine in plants and soil. Talanta 15:1135–1141. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Yazikov EG, Shatilov AU (2003) Geoecological monitoring (in Russian). TPU, TomskGoogle Scholar
  62. Yoffe D, Frim R, Ukeles SD, Dagani MJ, Barda HJ, Benya TJ, Sanders DC (2013) Bromine compounds. Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 1-31 pp. Scholar
  63. Yuita K (1983) Optimization of radioactivation analysis for the determination of iodine, bromine, and chlorine contents in soils, plants, soil solutions and rain water. Nogyo Gijutsu Kenkyusho Hokoku, B: Dojo Hiryo 35:73–110Google Scholar
  64. Yuita K, Nobusawa Y, Shibuya M, Aso S (1982) Iodine, bromine and chlorine contents in soils and plants of Japan: I. Iodine, bromine and chlorine contents in soils and plants of the basin of the Miomote River. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 28:315–336. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zhornyak LV, Osipova NA, Yazikov EG, Demidova KE, Osipov KY (2016) Geochemical peculiarities of soils in Tomsk areas of industrial enterprises locations. In 22nd International symposium on atmospheric and ocean optics: atmospheric physics. International Society for Optics and Photonics 10035:100354H
  66. Kirchhübel N, Fantke P (2019) Getting the chemicals right: Toward characterizing toxicity and ecotoxicity impacts of inorganic substances. J Cleaner Prod. Scholar
  67. Global Health Data Exchange (2019) Available online Accessed: 20-Jan-2018Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatiana Bratec
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nienke Kirchhübel
    • 3
  • Natalia Baranovskaya
    • 2
  • Bertrand Laratte
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Olivier Jolliet
    • 6
  • Leonid Rikhvanov
    • 2
  • Peter Fantke
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Centre for Environmental Studies and SustainabilityUniversity of Technology of Troyes, CNRS, ICDTroyes CedexFrance
  2. 2.Division for Geology, School of Earth Sciences and EngineeringNational Research Tomsk Polytechnic UniversityTomskRussia
  3. 3.Quantitative Sustainability Assessment, Department of Technology, Management and EconomicsTechnical University of DenmarkKgs. LyngbyDenmark
  4. 4.Arts et Métiers ParisTechTalenceFrance
  5. 5.APESA-Innovation, Pôle Territorial de coopération économique social et environnementalTarnosFrance
  6. 6.Environmental Health SciencesUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations