Risk Management for Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)
- What is HBCD?
- Why is EPA concerned about these chemicals?
- What is EPA doing to address risks from HBCD?
What is HBCD?
HBCD is a category of brominated flame retardants consisting of 16 possible isomers. It is also known as the “Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD)."
Why is EPA concerned about these chemicals?
HBCD is used in expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) in the building and construction industry, as well as in consumer products. People may be exposed to HBCD from products and dust in the home and workplace, as well as its presence in the environment.
HBCD is found world-wide in the environment and wildlife. It is also found in human breast milk, adipose tissue, and blood. It bioaccumulates in living organisms and biomagnifies in the food chain. It is persistent in the environment and is transported long distances.
HBCD is highly toxic to aquatic organisms. It also presents human health concerns based on animal test results indicating potential reproductive, developmental and neurological effects.
What is EPA doing to address risks from HBCD?
- Current Action
- June 22, 2017: EPA is publishing the scope document as the first phase of its risk evaluation of HBCD. EPA designated HBCD in December 2016 as one of the first ten chemicals to be evaluated for risk under the amended TSCA. Learn more about EPA’s efforts to evaluate the risks of HBCD.
- Previous Actions
- November 2016: EPA finalized a rule adding HBCD to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals;
- September 2015: EPA issued a significant new use rule for HBCD. The regulation requires companies to notify EPA 90 days prior to U.S. manufacture, import, or processing of HBCD in consumer textiles (except for use in motor vehicles) or in textile articles.
- August 2015: EPA issued the TSCA Work Plan Chemical Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment for HBCD.
- June 2014 – EPA issued Final Report – Flame Retardant Alternatives for Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). This report evaluated and compared potential hazards associated with HBCD and three alternatives. Read more.
- August 2010: The EPA Action Plan for HBCD was published.