Alternative halogenated flame retardants (AHFRs) in green mussels from the south China sea

Runxia Sun, Changgui Pan*, Fengjiao Peng, Youting Wu, Xuejing Chen, Bixian Mai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Restrictions of legacy brominated flame retardants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) and polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), have resulted in increased usage of alternative halogenated flame retardants (AHFRs). Consequently, AHFRs contamination has caused a major concern in the scientific community. However, there is limited information on their presence in marine mussels. In this study, we investigated the occurrence and distribution of polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), AHFRs and dehalogenated products in green mussels collected from 22 locations in the northern South China Sea (SCS). Our results revealed that ∑AHFRs were ubiquitous in green mussels with concentrations in the range of 1.08–7.71 ng/g lipid weight (lw). Among target AHFRs, hexabromobenzene (HBB), decabromodiphenyl (DBDPE) and dechlorane plus (DP) were predominant with their mean values of 1.19, 1.00 and 0.82 ng/g lw, respectively. There were negligible stereoisomer enrichments of DP in green mussels based on fanti values, indicating a limited bioaccumulation and metabolism of DP in green mussels. In comparison with other locations, concentrations of the AHFRs in green mussels determined here were at moderate levels. Additionally, there were significant linear relationships between some AHFRs (e.g., HBB and PBEB), suggesting their similar commercial applications and sources in the environment. The estimated daily intakes of AHFRs through consumption of green mussels by the local population in South China were 0.05–0.14 ng/kg body weight/day and 0.17–0.44 ng/kg body weight/day based on the mean and 95th concentrations, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to report AHFRs and dehalogenated products in green mussels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109082
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Alternative brominated flame retardants (AHFRs)
  • Dechlorane plus (DP)
  • Green mussel
  • South China sea
  • Spatial distribution


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