Organophosphate esters in inert landfill soil: A case study.

Waste management & research : the journal of the International Solid Wastes and Public Cleansing Association, ISWA(2023)

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Organophosphate esters (OPEs) used as flame retardants and plasticizers are additives in building and construction materials, decorations, furniture, electronic equipment, among other applications. The presence of materials containing these substances in construction and demolition waste (CDW) from weak waste management practices can result in environmental contamination. In this study, OPEs' presence in soil samples collected from a CDW landfill in Brazil was evaluated. Soil samples were collected in areas adjacent to CDW from an inert landfill, and the samples were analysed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. The OPEs were detected in all soil samples at quantifiable concentrations ranging from 21 to 251 ng g, and detected compounds were tris(phenyl) phosphate, tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate, tris(1,3-dichloroisopropyl) phosphate, tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate and 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate. The presence of these compounds in a CDW landfill is probably due to the lack of control of the materials sent to and deposited in the landfill, which, results in part from the lack of sampling and screening systems that can help identify the presence of contaminants in the CDW waste stream. This is partially due to OPEs not being considered controlled compounds under current regulations, thus screening or separation for handling of OPEs at construction and demolition work sites is rare to non-existent. The data generated in this study reveals the need for improving CDW management to minimize, if not eliminate, environmental contamination by OPEs.
CDW, organophosphorus Flame Retardants (OPFRs), inert landfill, soil contamination
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