Fate of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), A Common Flame Retardant, In Polystyrene-Degrading Mealworms: Elevated HBCD Levels in Egested Polymer but No Bioaccumulation

We investigated the fate of the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane in polystyrene -degrading mealworms and in mealworm-fed shrimp

Anja Malawi Brandon; Sahar H. El Abbadi; Uwakmfon A. Ibekwe; Yeo-Myoung Cho; Wei-Min Wu; Craig S. Criddle

2019

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  • As awareness of the ubiquity and magnitude of plastic pollution has increased, so has interest in the long term fate of plastics
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  • We investigated the fate of the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane in polystyrene-degrading mealworms and in mealworm-fed shrimp
  • Most of the commercial HBCD consumed by the mealworms was egested in frass within 24 h with nearly a 3-log removal after 48 h
  • No evidence of higher trophic level bioaccumulation or toxicity was observed when L. vannamei were fed mealworm biomass grown with PS containing HBCD
  • Differences in shrimp survival were attributable to the fraction of mealworm biomass incorporated into the diet, not HBCD
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