Where is it Commonly Found?
Hexabromobenzene is used as an additive flame retardant in polymers, plastics, textiles, wood, and paper (Bruchajzer et al., 2004). Among plastics, HBB is found in polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, ABS resin, epoxy resin, and polyester materials (ChemSigma 2001).
Hexabromobenzene has been found to cross the placental barrier in rats and to accumulate in adipose tissues (NILU. 2008). HBB is the brominated analog of hexachlorobenzene, which is listed under California’s Proposition 65 as known to cause cancer and developmental toxicity (OEHHA 2009).
Exposure: Thermal decomposition of octa- and decaBDEs and hexabromobiphenyl may introduce additional HBB into the environment (Bruchajzer et al., 2004). Low levels of HBB were detected in male Glaucous Gulls from the Norwegian Arctic and at higher levels in gulls’ egg yolk samples (Verreault et al., 2007). In 2007, HBB was reported in the Arctic in the third highest concentration after PBDEs and HBCD (Moeller, 2011). HBB is expected to be resistant to biodegradation and abiotic degradation. It has high persistence, adsorbing to soil and sediment in water, but it is not volatile and thus not mobile. The European chemical substance information system (ESIS) reported finding HBB in predator species (Food Safety Authority of Ireland, 2010). HBB has been found highly bioaccumulative in several fish and aquatic invertebrate species (with some variation by species)—equally or more so than the better-known PBDE flame-retardants already listed as persistent organic pollutants under the Stockholm Convention (Wu et al 2011).
How is it Categorized?
Hexabromobenzene is a white crystalline powder.