Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) may pose a worldwide pollution problem because of their persistence, long-range transport capability, and predisposition to bioaccumulate. The ubiquitous presence of PBBs and PBDEs has heightened interest in determination of their fate. We report results for a fugacity-based dynamic environmental and bioaccumulation model of the fate of hexabromobiphenyl (hexaBB) discharged into the Saginaw Bay region of Lake Huron, USA. We calculated transient fugacity profiles of hexaBB in Lake Huron and Lake Erie water and sediment during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The hexaBB concentrations in the environmental compartments were used as inputs for a dynamic bioaccumulation model of Lake Huron and Lake Erie aquatic biota. The model results indicate that the sediment compartments of Lakes Huron and Erie serve as reservoirs for the accumulation and slow transfer of hexaBB to the food web constituents of these lakes. We present bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) and compare the predicted hexaBB concentrations in lake trout from the bioaccumulation model with measurements during the period 1980 to 2000. An uncertainty analysis for this model suggests that errors associated with input parameter uncertainty can be reduced by refining estimates of the sediment degradation half-life of hexaBB. The corroborated PBB model has carryover application for modeling the fate of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) contaminants in the Great Lakes. By fitting model outputs to field measurement data using the transformed least square fit method, we report estimations of 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47) emission rates into the Lake Huron and Lake Erie watershed areas. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011; 30:1018–1025. © 2011 SETAC
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