BFR York 2017

At BFR 2017 there was over 100 scientific presentations with authors and delegates from over 28 countries. The International Symposium on Flame Retardants (BFR) is a truly international conference with representation from all continents.

BFR York 2017

The 8th International Symposium on Flame Retardants, BFR 2017, was held in York (UK). The theme of the conference for this year was 'emerging BFR issues', and many abstracts were submitted on novel and emerging flame retardants in addition to new analytical and other scientific approaches to assess the risk to human and environmental health as a result of these compounds.

Information from the 2017 event, including the organising committees, programme summary, abstracts, and posters are included below.

Scientific Posters

Scientists produced 65 informational posters for the BFR 2017 event, covering topics ranging from flame retardants in abiotic environments, to Human Exposure to Flame retardants. All the posters for the event are downloadable from this page for your information and reference.


Sunday 7th May

15.00 onwards Registration Principal Hotel, York
16:00 – 17:45 Student session – Tea with mentors Roxana Sühring
18.00 – 20.00 Welcome reception and exhibition Oak Room

Monday 8th May (Day One) – 08.45 to 18.00

08.55 – 09.25 (30 mins) Opening address the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Dave Taylor
09.25 – 10.10 (45 mins) Plenary One
Epidemiology of exposure to mixtures of flame retardants: an emerging issue
Tom Webster
Professor of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health
10.10-10.40 (30 mins) Coffee Break and Exhibits Oak Room
10.40 – 12.45 (125 mins) Session One – Flame Retardants in Abiotic Environments Chair: Stuart Harrad / Gang Yu
1) Are atmospheric PBDE levels declining in Europe? Examination of seasonal variations, gas-particle partitioning and implications for long-range atmospheric transport Céline Degrendele
2) Spatial variability of atmospheric PBDES levels in Mendoza City, Argentina: A Dispersion Modelling Approach Maria Florencia Ruggeri
3) Phototransformation of the “emerging” BFR 1,3,5-Tris-(2,3-dibromopropyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-trione Dominique Lörchner
4) E-waste driven pollution in Pakistan: First evidence of environmental and human exposure to flame retardants (FRs) in Karachi city Jabir Hussain Syed
5) The signature of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PBDD/Fs) in the atmosphere of Santiago de Chile after the fire in the Santa Marta landfill area Karla Pozo
6) Evidence of gross contamination of surface water from Jukskei River, South Africa with hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) flame retardants Adegbenro Daso
7) Legacy PBDEs and NBFRs in sediment samples of the river Thames using liquid chromatography coupled to a high resolution accurate mass Orbitrap mass spectrometer Aristide P. Ganci
8) Brominated and Mixed Halogenated Dioxin and Furan Profiles in a Radiometrically-dated Fresh Water Sediment Core from the United Kingdom Leon Peters
12.45 – 14.00 (75 mins) Lunch, Posters and Exhibits Oak Room
14.00 – 14.30 (30 mins) Poster Highlights Session (30 mins)  
14:30 – 16.00 (90 mins) Session Two – Analytical Methods Chair: Rainer Malisch/Alwyn Fernandes
1) Identification of impurities of phosphate and brominated flame retardants Ana Ballesteros-Gómez
2) The use of non-targeted GC-Orbitrap in the determination of contaminants in human serum Garry Codling
3) Degradation of Polymeric Brominated Flame Retardants: Development of an Analytical Approach Using PolyFR and UV Irradiation Christoph Koch
4) Interlaboratory study of organophosphate ester injection ready test mixtures William Stubbings
5) Rapid analysis of novel and legacy brominated flame retardants in soil Thomas McGrath
6) Simple and fast Method for the measurement of ploybrominated diphenyl ethers and some novel brominated flame retardants in human serum Catherine Pirard
16.00 – 16.30 (30 mins) Coffee Break and Exhibits Oak Room
16.30 – 18.00 (90 mins) Session Three – Organophosphorous Flame Retardants Chair: Heather Stapleton /Mehran Alaee
1) The Story of TCPP Indoors and Outdoors: Sources, Concentrations and Fate Miriam L Diamond
2) Isopropylated Triarylphosphate Esters (ITPS) in commercial flame retardant mixtures and indoor house dust Allison Phillips
3) Tissue-specific Bioaccumulation and Potential Factors of Organophosphorus Flame Retardants in Crucian Carp Choo Gyojin
4) Organophosphate Ester in Vitro Metabolism, structure-activity relationships, fate and bioaccumulation potential in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and their ringed seal (Pusa hispida) prey Adelle Strobel
5) Dermal uptake and percutaneous penetration of organophosphate esters in a human skin ex vivo model Marie Frederiksen
6) The effects of four organophosphate ester flame retardants and BDE-47 on endochondral ossification in a murine ex vivo limb bud culture model Han Yan

Tuesday 9th May (Day Two) – 08.45 to 17.30

Plenary Two
What are the implications of flame retardants for birds?
Kim Fernie, PhD Research Scientist,
Ecotoxicology & Wildlife Health Science & Technology Environment Canada

9.30 – 10.45 (75 mins) Session Four – Flame Retardants in food Chair: David Mortimer/Christina Tlustos
1) Occurrence of HBCDs, TBBPA, brominated phenols and their derivative in foodstuffs in Belgium Svetlana Malysheva
2) Geographical Investigation for polybrominated diphenylethers in fish collected from UK and proximate marine waters Sean Panton
3) Ingestion of extruded polystyrene by laying chicken hens results in eggs contaminated with hexabromocyclododecane Ronan Cariou
4) Analysis of Dechlorane Plus and related norbornene-based flame retardants in foods by gas chromatography - high resolution mass spectrometry Dzintars Zachs
10.45 – 11.15 (30 Mins) Coffee Break and Exhibits  
11.15 – 12.15 (60 mins) Session Five - Flame Retardants in Indoor Environments Chair: Mohamed Abdallah/Lindsay Bramwell
1) Legacy and Alternative Flame Retardants in Norwegian and UK Indoor Environment: Implications of Human Exposure via Dust Ingestion Katerina Kademoglou
2) Non-target and suspect screening of flame retardants and other compounds in indoor dust from five countries Jacob de Boer
3) Organic flame retardants in offices, taxis and outsides in China: hand wipes, surface wipes and dust Xiaotu liu
4) Within-room and within-home spatial and temporal variability in concentrations of legacy and “novel” brominated flame retardants in indoor dust Layla Al-Omran
12.15 – 13.45 (90 mins) Lunch and Posters; Vendor Seminar by ThermoFisher Oak Room/Conference Room
13.45 – 14.30 (45 mins) Plenary Three
Dietary exposure assessment of BFRs by Chinese Total Dietary and Human Breast Milk Monitoring
Wu Yongning, MD, Ph D Chief Scientist and Professor,
China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA)
14.30 – 15.45 (75 mins) Session Six - Health Effects and Toxicology of Flame Retardants Chair: Rob Letcher / Ovnair Sepai
1) TBBPA disposition and kinetics in pregnant and nursing Wistar Han rats Gabriel Knudsen
2) BDE-209 VERSUS Tetradecabromodiphenoxybenzene: DIFFERING rates of PhotolyTIC DEGRADATION to Dioxin-Like Products and Toxicogenomic EXPRESSION in Chicken Embryonic Hepatocytes Robert Letcher
3) Follicular fluid levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDES), gene expression in human mural and cumulus granulosa cells and fertility Barbara F Hales
4) Prenatal exposure to organophosphate flame retardants and children’s growth and development Kate Hoffman
5) Flame retardant exposures and the incidence of thyroid cancer: Is there a link? Heather Stapleton
15.45 – 16.15 (30 mins) Coffee Break and Exhibits  
16.15 – 17.15 (60 mins) Session Seven – Flame Retardants in Biota Chair: Jacob de Boer/Danielle Ashton
1) Halogenated flame retardants in stranded sperm whales from the Mediterranean Ethel Eljarrat
2) Tracing the Biotransformation of PCBs and PBDEs in Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) Using Compound-specific and Enantiomer-specific Stable Carbon Isotope Analysis Tang Bin
3) Halogenated flame retardants in peregrine falcon eggs from Greenland – concentration development over the last 30 years Katrin Vorkamp
4) Flame retardant versus fluorinated Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Herring Gull and Caspian Tern Eggs From United States Colony Sites in the Great Lakes of North America Robert Letcher

Wednesday 10th May (Day Three) – 08.45 to 14.00

8:45 – 9:30 (45 mins) Plenary Four
Do flame retardants make furniture safer?
Richard Hull Professor of Chemistry and Fire Science,
University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
9.30 – 10.15 (45 mins) Session Eight– Fire Safety, Policy and Regulation Chair: Richard Hull / Shin-ichi Sakai
1) Regulated Brominated Flame Retardants in Irish Waste Plastics: Obstacles to the Circular Economy? Martin Sharkey
2) What about Environmental Quality Standards for PBDEs in European river biota? Ethel Eljarrat
3) Policy shaping flame retardant use and regulation: The role of states and future under TSCA reform Erika Schreder
10.15 – 10:45 (30 mins) Coffee Break  
10:45 – 12.30 (105 mins) Session Nine–Human Exposure to Flame retardants Chair: Miriam Diamond/Myrto Petreas
1) Indoor Sources of and Human Exposure to Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) Miriam Diamond
2) Assessing Children’s Exposure to Organophosphate Flame Retardants using Passive Air Samples from the Home Environment Stephanie C Hammel
3) Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers, polychlorinated biphenyls and persistent pesticides in 7 and 9 year old children and their mothers in the chamacos cohort Andreas Sjodin
4) Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) decrease in blood serum from Australian children: 2006-2015 Leisa-Maree Toms
5) Declines in serum PBDEs in older California women may have reached a plateau (2011-2015) Myrto Petreas
6) Emerging and legacy flame retardants in UK human milk and food suggest slow response to restrictions on use of PBDEs and HBCDD Stuart Harrad
7) Determination of phenolic organohalogens in human serum from a Belgian population and assessment of parameters affecting human contamination Catherine Pirard
12.30 – 12.45 (15 mins) Student Prizes/Awards Ceremony Chair: Roxana Sühring / Danielle Ashton
12.45 – 13.00 (15 mins) Introduction to BFR 2019 (Canada) Mehran Alaee
13.00 – 14:30 Lunch and Posters Oak Room

Organising Committees

International Scientific Committee

Mehran Alaee Environment Canada, Canada
Ake Bergman Stockholm University, Sweden
Linda Birnbaum National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA
Jacob de Boer Vrije University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Robin Law Cefas Lowestoft Laboratory, Lowestoft, Suffolk UK
Myrto Petreas California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control, USA
Martin Rose Fera Science Ltd
Shin-ichi Sakai Kyoto University, Japan
Gang Yu Tsinghua University, China

National Scientific Committee

Alwyn Fernandes Fera Science Ltd
David Mortimer Food Standards Agency UK
Mohamed Abdallah University of Birmingham
Lindsey Bramwell University of Newcastle
Christina Tlustos Food Safety Authority of Ireland
Richard Hull University of Central Lancashire
Ovnair Sepai Public Health England
Danielle Ashton Environment Agency
Roxana Sühring Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Martin Rose Fera Science Ltd


Flame Retardants in Abiotic Environments

Release of polybrominated diphenyl ethers from wastewater in China Xian-ZhiPeng
Long-term temporal and seasonal trends for PBDEs in the UK ambient air Carola Graf
Identification of brominated flame retardants in leachate samples derived from laboratory tests of waste electronic and electrical equipment using a high resolution high accuracy mass spectrometer Khanh-Hoang Nguyen
Influence of TOC and particle size on the distribution of PBDEs in landfill soils Okechukwu Jonathan Okonkwo
Effects of atmospheric bounndary layer height on polybrominateddiphenyl ether concentrations in air Nguyen Thanh Dien
BDE-209 in aur: gas/particle partition and long range atmospheric transportation Yi-Fan Li
Gas/particle partitioning of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in air: subcooled liquid vapor pressure vs. octanol-air partition coefficient as descriptors Zifeng Zhang
Novel and legacy brominated flame retardants in the urban soils of Melbourne, Australia Bradley Clarke
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Concepción bay of central Chile: pattern, fluxes and historical record Karla Pozo

Flame Retardants - Analytical Methods

Maximized productivity for PBDE, Dioxin and PCB analysis using dualdata mode with magnetic sector GC-HRMS Heinz Mehlmann
Optimization of automated pressurized liquid extraction and cleanup of PBDE in animal feed Aleksandr Kozhushkevich
A novel method for quantification of Decabromodiphenyl ether in plastics without sample preparation using Direct Insertion Probe – Magnetic Sector – High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Heinz Mehlmann
HBCDD in Expanded and Extruded Polystyrene – Screening for Compliance with Low POP Concentration Limits using X-Ray Fluorescence Martin Sharkey
Improving the chromatographic capabilities of an atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation source Simon Hird
Investigating the in vitro metabolism of NBFRs by trout liver microsomes using a high resolution accurate mass benchtop Q-Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer Aristide P. Ganci
A fully automated method for the determination of PCDD/FC, dioxin-like PCBs, non-dioxin-like PCBs and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in food, feed and environmental samples WimTraag
A development history of PBDE reference standards and internal standards Huiling Liu
GC-Q-Orbitrap-based analytical method for the quantification of PBDEs in food commodities Nuria Cortés-Francisco

Organophosphorous Flame Retardants

Co-precipitation-assisted coacervative extraction coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography: an approach for determining organophosphorus compounds in water samples Jorgelina Altamirano
Estimating Organophosphate Ester (OPE) Transport, Fate and Emissions in Toronto, Canada using the Multimedia Urban Model (MUM) Miriam Diamond
Multigenerational effects of the flame retardant tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) in daphnia magna Magali Houde
Organophosphate ester flame retardants and plasticizers in fish and packaged foodstuffs at the French level Ronan Cariou
Brominated and organophosphorus flame retardants in automobile dusts: concentrations and emission sources Ovokeroye Abafe

Flame Retardants in Food

Occurrence of halogenated flame retardants in Belgian foodstuffs Giulia Poma
Results of three years of monitoring plans in France: levels of PBDEs, PBBs, HBCDDs, TBBPA and other emerging/novel brominated flame retardants in food Anais Venisseau
Simultaneous determination of PCDD/Fs, PCBs, PBDEs and PBDD/Fs in fish and mussels from the Mediterranean Sea Roberta Ceci
PBDEs and Brominated Dioxins in the Eggs of Duck and Other Species Frankie Smith
The determination of HBCDDs, a range of bromophenols, tetrabromobisphenol-A and tetrabromobisphenol S in foodstuffs from Ireland Fera
Flame retardants in wastes recycled in agriculture and the potential for transfer to the food chain Hannah Rigby

Flame Retardants in Indoor Environments

Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in indoor in a community in a megacity of southern China: comparison with outdoor air Mai Bi-Xian
First report of flame retardant exposure in indoor dust from Canadian e-waste recycling facility Viet Linh Nguyen
Untargeted screening of novel brominated flame retardants in indoor dust using a Q-Exactive high-resolution accurate mass spectrometer Aristide P. Ganci

Health Effects and Toxicology of Flame Retardants

Changes in gene expression and pathway effects of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) in female Wistar Han rats Samantha Hall
Novel brominated polyphenyl ether contaminants and in vitro competitive binding with the thyroid hormone thyroxine for human transthyretin and albumin Robert Letcher
Biotransformation of flame retardant 1,2-Dibromo-4-(1,2-dibromethyl)cyclohexane (TBECH) in vitro by Human Liver Microsomes Khanh-Hoang Nguyen
Adipogenic Activity of Indoor House Dust Extracts and Relation to Flame Retardants Chris Kassotis

Flame Retardants in Biota

Comparative occurrence and biomagnification of legacy persistent organic pollutants and alternative flame retardants in a macrotidal estuary: case study on the Gironde (SW France) Pierre Labadie
Implications of biological factors on accumulation of PBDEs in two Antarctic notothenioid fish Jorgelina Altamirano
Does any trout species could be used as sentinel of PBDEs in freshwater environments? Jorgelina Altamirano
Assessing Polybrominated Diphenyl Ether Accumulation in Farmed and Wild Salmon: How has it changed since 2004? Matthew Ruis
Species specific debromination of PBDEs and relationships to deiodinase Kaoruko Mizukawa
Occurrence of dechloranes in fish from the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers in France Inas Abdel Malak
Levels and pathways of flame retardant contamination in wild birds associated with landfill: A critical review Andrew Tongue
HBCDs in the top predator Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) from Greenland seawaters Salvatore Cotronei
Evidence of polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Antarctica: current situation and perspectives Metzdorff América
Preliminary aquatic toxicity hazard evaluation of DOPO-HQ as a potential alternative to PBDEs Yunyun Deng
Comprehensive analysis of additives in plastics ingested by seabirds: implication for exposure risk to seabirds Kosuke Tanaka
Determination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers retardants in fish tissues samples from Vaal River, South Africa Tlou Chokwe
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) and Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in marine and freshwater biota samples from the German Environmental Specimen Bank Nina Lohmann
Temporal and spatial trends in levels of PBDEs in dab (Limanda limanda) from UK marine waters Philippe Bersuder

Fire Safety, Flame Retardant Policy and Regulation

Synthesis of phosphorus containing flame retardants and investigation flame retardant behaviour on the textile applications Muhammed Kanat
National strategy and action plan on HBCD control in China to fulfill the obligation of Stockholm Convention Ren Zhiyuan
National strategy and action plan on PBDEs control in China to fulfill the obligation of POPs Convention Chen Jiang
Ecological screening assessment of substances in the “Certain Organic Flame Retardants” grouping under the Government of Canada’s Chemical Management Plan Darren Porter
SAFR®: Integrating exposure with hazard in a new assessment approach for responsible fire safety solutions Smadar Admon

Human Exposure to Flame Retardants

Effect of Removal of Flame-retarded Nap Mats on Indoor Flame Retardant Levels in Childcare Environments Erika Schreder
Assessment of human body burdens of PBDEs at e-waste recycling sites in Taizhou, China utilizing a one-compartment pharmacokinetic model Iryna Labunska
Elucidating Levels and Pathways of Human Exposure in Ireland to POP-BFRs (ELEVATE) Wemken Nina
BFR contamination in UK kitchen utensils: Implications for human exposure via transfer to cooking oil and direct dermal contact Stuart Harrad
Determination of polybrominated diphenly ethers in human adipose tissue by selective reaction monitoring from Qatari’s population Murad Helaleh
Brominated and Chlorinated Organic Contaminants in Human Serum from obese adolescents undergoing weight loss treatment Malarvannan Govindan
Estimation of per capita intake of phosphorous flame retardants (PFRs) using Swedish market basket food samples Giulia Poma
Effect of Bromine Substitution on Human Dermal Absorption of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers Mohamed Abdallah
Toddler exposure to flame retardant chemicals: magnitude, health concern and potential risk- or protective factors of exposure: observational studies summarized in a systematic review Eva Sugeng
Predictors of human PBDE body burden for a UK cohort Lindsay Bramwell

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