Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Pozo K., Oyola G., Jorquera H., Gomez V., Galban-Malagon C., Mena-Carrasco M., Audy O., Pribylova P., Guida Y., Estellano V., Lammel G., Klanova J. (2023)

Environmental signature and health risk assessment of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) emitted from a landfill fire in Santiago de Chile

Volumen : 330
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been used as flame retardants in building materials, electronics, furnishings, vehicles, airplanes, plastics, polyurethane foams, and textiles for many years. Currently, the primary commercial mixtures, penta-, octa-, and deca-BDE, are globally restricted. Still, products containing PBDEs are expected to impact waste management and the environment for many years. In January 2016, an open fire in the Santa Marta landfill close to Santiago de Chile affected the city and surroundings. The fire caused several acute health effects and an increase in emergency hospitalizations. We measured PBDE levels in the areas affected by the fire in the air (gaseous and particulate) and soil, and PBDE emissions were estimated using a dispersion model. The results showed an increase in PBDE concentrations by a factor of 2-4 one day after the start of the fire. However, PBDE concentrations measured after the fire in PM10 and the gas phase were considered low compared to other regions. Interestingly, PBDEs’ patterns differed across the sites; however, BDE209 was the dominant congener for all environmental matrices. A preliminary risk assessment was conducted using the daily exposure dose (DED) by air inhalation estimation. The results showed low DED values for adults and children and suggested no direct health risk due to PBDE exposure. This study brings new data useful for future solid waste management initiatives in the country.