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Current-use flame retardants have been detected in the Arctic environment

New study examines the prescence of flame retardants by modelling long-range transport and emissions from local sources of new contaminants in the Arctic.

(Photo: Colourbox).

The purpose of the study was to quantify contributions from local emissions and long-range transport, respectively, in the Greenland environment in Nuuk. Long-range transport was studied with the atmospheric chemistry-transport model DEHM, based on emissions from production, plastic and tex-tile use and waste treatment in nine global regions. Local concentrations were calculated using a local site model and emissions to air, soil and water from local use of plastic and textile products as well as waste incineration.

Simulations with the atmospheric chemistry-transport model DEHM showed that the contributed fraction to the Arctic from Europe was higher than the region’s share of the total global emission, whereas the opposite was the case for China, Japan and the rest of Asia. This was due to the prevailing transport pattern, in which the transport from Europe and the Asian part of Russia into the Arctic was the largest transport route.

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