An atmospheric deposition sampler was validated with respect to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a compound group that is widely used as flame retardants in many types of consumer products. The deposition sampler consists of an adsorption cartridge that is connected to a glass funnel. Extraction tests with spiked cartridges using soxhlet extraction with acetone revealed recoveries of >80% for all of the investigated PBDEs. Once adsorbed, PBDEs are stable, as proven by extractions of spiked cartridges that were stored outdoors and collected after different periods of time, up to 84 days. High recoveries indicate that degradation of adsorbed PBDEs does not play a role under realistic field conditions. Bulk deposition rates of PBDEs were determined in a field test with 3 replicates, and a possible breakthrough of target compounds was assessed in the field using a second adsorption cartridge in series. No breakthrough of target compounds could be observed within a sampling period of 61 days, and a bulk deposition rate of approximately 1 ng m−2 day−1 for the sum of all analysed PBDEs was measured. The highest deposition rates were measured for octa-brominated congeners, followed by BDEs 99, 183, 153, and 47. Overall, the sampler was successfully validated regarding the atmospheric deposition of PBDEs.
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