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Effects of benthos, temperature, and dose on the fate of hexabromocyclododecane in experimental coastal ecosystems

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The authors studied the fate of the brominated flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) added in a particulate suspension to experimental ecosystems assembled from brackish (Baltic Sea) coastal bays. Two experiments examined how benthic macrofauna (over 21 d) and increased temperature (14 d) affected HBCDD concentrations and fractionation of α, β, and γ diastereomers in the water, sediment, and biota. A third experiment run over 3 seasons (231 d), studied the effect of HBCDD dose on the same endpoints. In all treatments of the 3 experiments, HBCDD partitioned mainly to the sediment, and this proportion increased with time. Presence of macrofauna tended to increase the HBCDD concentration in the sediment and decreased its concentration in the water. Increased temperature (+ 5°C) decreased the amount of HBCDD in sediment and water but not in the filter‐ and deposit‐feeding infaunal bivalves (Macoma balthica). The partitioning between water, sediment, and biota was not concentration dependent. In all treatments, sediment became enriched in γ‐HBCDD, M. balthica in α‐HBCDD, and water in α‐ and β‐HBCDD. Bioaccumulation of HBCDD in M. balthica was high in all experiments (log biota‐sediment accumulation factor [BSAF] > 1.25), the α diastereomer contributing the most (log BSAF 2.1–5.2). There is a risk of trophic transfer of HBCDD from benthic to pelagic food webs, as well as secondary poisoning of marine consumers. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;9999:1–12. © 2015 SETAC

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