Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Foday M. Jaward, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ira S. Richards, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yehia Y. Hammad, Sc.D.


PBDE, high-volume, fire-retardant, inhalational, XAD-2, PUF


The goal of this study was to quantify the ambient air concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from three locations within the Howard Curren Wastewater Treatment Facility located in Tampa, Florida. PBDEs have been linked to endocrine disruption, cancer, developmental concerns in children, as well as other toxic effects; however their precise roles concerning these deleterious effects remains to be determined. The present study was motivated by these potential health concerns posed by inhalational exposure to PBDEs. Ambient air was monitored with a Tisch Environmental PUF high volume sampler for 48 hours with collection on three types of media-quarts filter, PUF (polyurethane foam) and XAD-2 resin. The samples were then analyzed with GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry) for eight PBDEs that are routinely detected.

The results showed elevated levels of PBDEs at the 2nd and 3rd sampling locations indicating a possible increased presence in the ambient air at the facility. Levels of PBDE 47 ranked highest amongst the detected congeners. PBDE 209 was not detected at any site.

The present results indicate that PBDEs may lead to an inhalational exposure, thus future experimentation is needed to fully evaluate the health complications associated with inhalational exposure route to PBDEs.