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WP3 - Evaluation of Validity of Portable XRF as a Measure of the PBDE and HBCD Content of Waste Articles

Led by the University of Birmingham, the objective of this work package is to evaluate whether portable XRF devices are fit-for-purpose as an in situ measure of whether the PBDE and HBCD content of waste articles exceed the relevant low POPs concentration limits (LPCLs).

Following receipt of the samples from WP2, samples will be prepared for analysis. The instrumental methods employed will be based upon existing GC-MS and LC-MS methods developed and used at Birmingham.

Data on concentrations of PBDEs and HBCDs will be regressed against the measurement of Br obtained using the portable XRF. The objective of this will be to evaluate the extent to which these measurements correlate and derive from this correlation, an algorithm to relate the portable XRF measurement of Br to the measured concentration of PBDEs or HBCDs. If reliable algorithms can be developed this would facilitate their routine application to checking whether individual waste articles contain PBDEs or HBCDs above the relevant LPCL values.

Any samples for which there appears substantial disagreement between the portable XRF derived Br concentration and the corresponding PBDE or HBCD value, will be investigated in more detail. As well as potentially helping to identify scenarios when such false positives are more likely, this will provide useful collateral information about the occurrence of currently non-restricted BFRs that may in the future become the subject of legislation.

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