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Evaluation of the state-of-the-art measurement capabilities for selected PBDEs and decaBB in plastic by the international intercomparison CCQM-P114



Michele M. Schantz, Katrice A. Lippa, R. Zeleny, S. Voorspoels, M. Ricci, Dorit Becker, M. Sittidech, A.M.F. Wong, D.H. Kim, S. Mingwu, S. Matsuyama


An international intercomparison involving eight National Metrology Institutes (NMIs) was conducted to establish their current measurement capabilities for determining five selected congeners from the brominated flame retardant classes polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs). A candidate reference material consisting of polypropylene spiked with technical mixtures of Penta-, Octa- and Decabromo diphenyl ether and Decabromo biphenyl, which was thoroughly assessed for material homogeneity and stability, was used as study material. The analytical procedures applied by the participants differed in the procedure for sample pre-treatment, extraction, clean-up, employed calibrants and type of calibration procedure, and analytical methods used for separation, identification, and quantification of the flame retardant congeners (GC-ECD, GC-EI/MS, GC-ECNI/MS, LC-ICP/MS). The laboratory means agreed well with relative standard deviations of the mean of means of 1.9 %, 4.8 %, 5.5 %, and 5.4 % for brominated diphenyl ether (BDE) 47, 183, and 209 and for the brominated biphenyl (BB) congener 209, respectively. For BDE 206, a relative standard deviation of 28.5 % was obtained. For all five congeners, within-laboratory relative standard deviations of six measurements obtained under intermediate precision conditions were between 1 % and 10 %, and reported expanded measurements uncertainties typically ranged from 4 % - 10 % (8 % - 14 % for BDE 206). Furthermore, the results are in good agreement with those obtained in the characterization exercise for determining certified values for the flame retardant congeners in the same material. In some cases, within-laboratory intermediate precision and between-laboratory agreement of mean values were better among NMIs than among laboratories participating in the certification study of the same material (the majority of which are ISO 17025 accredited laboratories). The results demonstrate the state-of-the-art measurement capabilities of NMIs for quantifying representative PBDE congeners and BB 209 in a polymer. The outcome of this intercomparison (pilot study) in conjunction with possible improvements for employing exclusively calibrants with thoroughly assessed purity suggest that a key comparison aiming at underpinning calibration and measurement capability (CMC) claims of NMIs can be conducted
Europa Archiv


flame retardants, polymer, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), international intercomparison


Schantz, M. , Lippa, K. , Zeleny, R. , Voorspoels, S. , Ricci, M. , Becker, D. , Sittidech, M. , Wong, A. , Kim, D. , Mingwu, S. and Matsuyama, S. (2009), Evaluation of the state-of-the-art measurement capabilities for selected PBDEs and decaBB in plastic by the international intercomparison CCQM-P114, Europa Archiv (Accessed March 4, 2024)
Created December 9, 2009, Updated February 17, 2017