DecaBDE is a current-use, commercial formulation of an additive, polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardant composed of >97% 2,2′,3,3′,4,4′,5,5′,6,6′-decabromoDE (BDE-209). Of the 43 PBDE congeners monitored, we report on the temporal trends (1982-2006) of quantifiable PBDEs, and specifically BDE-209, in pooled samples of herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs from seven colonies spanning the Laurentian Great Lakes. BDE-209 concentrations in 2006 egg pools ranged from 4.5 to 20 ng/g wet weight (ww) and constituted 0.6-4.5% of ∑39PBDE concentrations among colonies, whereas ∑octaBDE and ∑nonaBDE concentrations constituted from 0.5 to 2.2% and 0.3 to 1.1%, respectively. From 1982 to 2006, the BDE-209 doubling times ranged from 2.1 to 3.0 years, whereas for ∑octaBDEs and ∑nonaBDEs, the mean doubling times ranged from 3.0 to 11 years and 2.4 to 5.3 years, respectively. The source of the octa-and nona-BDE congeners, e.g., BDE-207 and BDE-197, are the result of BDE-209 debromination, and they are either formed metabolically in Great Lakes herring gulls and/or bioaccumulated from the diet and subsequently transferred to their eggs. In contrast to BDE-209 and the octa- and nona-BDEs, congeners derived mainly from PentaBDE and OctaBDE mixtures, e.g., BDE-47, -99, and -100, showed rapid increases up until 2000; however, there was no increasing trend post-2000. The data illustrates that PBDE concentrations and congener pattern trends in the Great Lakes herring gull eggs have dramatically changed between 1995 and 2006. Regardless of BDE-209 not fitting the pervasive criteria as a persistent and bioaccumulative substance, it is clearly of increasing concern in Great Lake herring gulls, and provides evidence that regulation of DecaBDE formulations is warranted.

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Journal Environmental Science and Technology
Gauthier, L.T. (Lewis T.), Hebert, C.E, Weseloh, D.V.C. (D. V. Chip), & Letcher, R.J. (2008). Dramatic changes in the temporal trends of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in herring gull eggs from the Laurentian Great Lakes: 1982-2006. Environmental Science and Technology, 42(5), 1524–1530. doi:10.1021/es702382k