Partnership on Flame Retardant Alternatives for Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)
Why is DfE conducting an alternatives assessment?
Hexabromocyclododecane is a flame retardant most commonly used in expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) and extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) produced for insulation in the building and construction industry. HBCD is also used in textile backcoatings for nylon products such as institutional carpet tiles and some military fabrics. A minor use of HBCD is in high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) for audio visual equipment, refrigerator linings, and wire and cable applications.
EPA's Action Plan for HBCD has identified the chemical as persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative in living organisms, and highly toxic to aquatic organisms. Human exposure is evidenced by the presence of HBCD in breast milk, adipose tissue, and blood, and it biomagnifies in the food chain. HBCD also presents human health concerns based on animal test results indicating potential reproductive, developmental, and neurological effects. People may be exposed to HBCD from products and dust in the home and workplace, as well as its presence in the environment.
How do I get more information?
EPA would like a broad range of stakeholders to participate in the project. Read about participating in the HBCD Partnership Project (PDF) (3 pp, 108K, About PDF ). Or if you would like more information, please contact Emma Lavoie of DfE at 202-564-0951 or Lavoie.Emma@epa.gov.