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Flame Retardants

Decabromodiphenyl ethane

Where is it Commonly Found?

Decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) is used in wires and cables, ABS plastic, high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) plastics, consumer electronics, and textile back-coating as well as engineering resins and elastomers (OEHHA 2008; Hengde Chemical 2006). DBDPE is a major brominated flame retardant used in China, with annual growth of 80% in recent years (Cai 2008). As decaBDE is being phased out and declining in sales, DBDPE use is rapidly increasing (Luo et al. 2009).


DBDPE has been found to reduce the hatching rates of zebra-fish eggs, raise the mortality of hatched larvae, and shows estrogenic activity (Nakari and Huhtala 2009).

Animals exposed neonatally to decaBDE exhibit changes in learning and behavior in adult animals (Viberg et al. 2003). Furthermore, when neonatally exposed to decaBDE, such animals exhibited altered responses to nicotine, indicating a change in the brain’s cholinergic system that could be associated with memory deficits (Viberg et al., 2007).

Exposure: DBDPE has been detected at significant levels in domestic dust from Europe (Karlssonet al. 2007), Boston (Stapleton et al. 2008), the UK (Stuart et al. 2008), Japan (Takigami et al. 2009), and Thailand (Muenhor et al. 2010). A recent study found that DBDPE was present in all dust samples taken from an e-waste region in China and that the estimated daily intakes (EDIs) of average adult and toddler in this were substantially higher than other brominated flame retardants measured (Wang et al. 2010). DBDPE is similarly persistent to decaBDE, which is found in wildlife worldwide and is already a widespread contaminant in remotes areas such as the Polar Regions and the deep oceans (OEHHA 2008).

How is it Categorized?

Brominated Flame Retardant



Additional Facts

Decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE) is an additive flame retardant first introduced into the commercial market in the early 1990s. Nearly identical in structure to decaBDE, DBDPE is a major replacement for decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) (OEHHA 2008).

What are its Synonyms?