Addition of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) Category to TRI List Final Rule
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On November 28, 2016, EPA finalized a rule adding a hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) category to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals with a 100-pound reporting threshold. HBCD is a brominated flame retardant found in the environment, in wildlife, and in humans.
Effective Date: This final rule became effective November 30, 2016.
Applicability date: This final rule applies for the reporting year beginning January 1, 2017 (reports due July 1, 2018) and for reporting years that follow.
EPA added this chemical category because EPA determined that HBCD presents potential human health concerns for developmental and reproductive effects, is highly toxic to aquatic and land-dwelling organisms, bioaccumulates, and is persistent in the environment. For these reasons, EPA determined that HBCD meets the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313(d)(2)(B) and (C) statutory listing criteria. Additionally, because HBCD bioaccumulates and is persistent in the environment, EPA determined it meets the TRI criteria for a Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT) chemical.
Basis for Adding an HBCD Category
EPA determined that HBCD meets the EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(B) criteria for listing because it presents potential human health concerns for developmental and reproductive effects. HBCD has also been shown to be highly toxic to both aquatic and terrestrial species. Additionally, HBCD is also bioaccumulative and persistent in the environment, which further supports a high concern for the toxicity to aquatic and terrestrial species. For these reasons, EPA determined that HBCD meets the EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(C) environmental effects listing criteria.
Basis for Lowering the Reporting Thresholds for the HBCD Category
Based on the bioaccumulation and persistence data for HBCD, it meets the TRI criteria for a PBT chemical. PBT chemicals are designated as chemicals of special concern and assigned lower reporting thresholds than other TRI listed chemicals. In the case of the HBCD category, EPA established a 100-pound reporting threshold.
Definition of the HBCD Category
The HBCD category covers HBCD as identified through two primary Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Numbers (CASRNs): 3194-55-6 (1,2,5,6,9,10-hexabromocyclododecane) and 25637-99-4 (hexabromocyclododecane).
Uses of HBCD
HBCD is a brominated flame retardant used mainly in expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) and extruded polystyrene foam (XPS). EPS and XPS are used primarily for thermal insulation boards in the building and construction industry. HBCD may also be used as a flame retardant in textiles.
EPA estimates that 101 facilities will be affected by this rule.