The Llobregat pp 135-150 | Cite as

Occurrence and Behavior of Brominated Flame Retardants in the Llobregat River Basin

  • E. EljarratEmail author
  • D. Barceló
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 21)


This chapter summarizes brominated flame retardant research in the Llobregat River basin. The work included the analysis of sediments and biota, with special attention on aspects such as occurrence, bioavailability, and bioaccumulation of these contaminants. The previous studies were focused only on the PBDE contamination issue; however, some emerging BFRs, such as HBB, PBEB, and DBDPE, were also included into the last works. For river sediment samples PBDE levels were between 2 and 10 ng/g dw, whereas coastal sediments showed higher concentrations, with values ranging between 25 and 134 ng/g dw. For both river and coastal sediments, the contribution of deca-BDE-209 on the total PBDE contamination was high, ranging between 50% and 99%. As regards biota samples, and more specifically, feral carps, PBDE levels ranged between 29 and 744 ng/g lw. Differences in PBDE profiles between sediments and fish were noticed, and they can be attributed to differential bioavailability or due to biotransformation processes. Finally, emerging BFRs were also detected in sediment samples, but at lower concentration levels than those observed for PBDEs.

Graphical Abstract


Bioaccumulation Bioavailability Brominated flame retardants Decabromodiphenylethane Hexabromobenzene Pentabromoethylbenzene Polybrominated diphenyl ether 

Abbreviations and Symbols


Brominated flame retardant




Dry weight


7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase


Gas chromatography




Limit of detection


Lipid weight


Mass spectrometry


Negative chemical ionization


Polybrominated diphenyl ether




Polychlorinated biphenyl


Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin


Polychlorinated dibenzofuran


Selective pressurized liquid extraction


Persistent organic pollutant


Wastewater treatment plant



This research study was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation through the projects CEMAGUA (CGL2007-64551/HID) and SCARCE (Consolider Ingenio 2010 CSD2009-00065).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ChemistryIDAEA, CSICBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA)Parc Científic i Tecnològic de la Universitat de GironaGironaSpain
  3. 3.King Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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