Where is it Commonly Found?
It is found in all polystyrene foam used as building insulation in the United States. Extruded polystyrene (XPS) is typically 0.7% HBCD while expanded polystyrene (EPS) is typically 2.5% HBCD. HBCD use in PVC-based wires, cables and textile coatings has been reported (ESIS 2008).
Other uses of HBCD include as a flame retardant high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) in electrical and electronic parts housings, and as a coating agent for upholstery fabric, bed mattress ticking, upholstery seating in transportation, draperies and wall coverings (OEHHA 2008). HBCD is also used in polypropylene, adhesives, coatings, latex binders and unsaturated polyester, and in styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) resins (ESIS 2008).
Research has found HBCD to be a reproductive toxicant, thyroid hormone disruptor, affects neurotransmission, and, following neonatal exposure, has significant effects on learning and memory (OEHHA 2008). The European Union has banned HBCD, effective 2015, under the REACH program (ECHA 2011). HBCD has been proposed as a persistent organic pollutant (POP) under the Stockholm Convention and is considered a persistent, bioaccumulative toxin (PBT) under REACH (UNEP 2010; ECHA 2011).
Exposure: HBCD is found in household dust, breast milk, sewage sludge and wildlife (EPA 2010). It has a very high bioaccumulation potential based on testing of marine mammals and predatory birds (Abdallah et al. 2008; Antignac et al. 2008). HBCD has been found to be highly bioaccumulative in several fish and aquatic invertebrate species—equally or more so than certain PBDE flame retardants already listed as persistent organic pollutants under the Stockholm Convention (Wu et al 2011). Exposure potential: Degradation of materials containing flame retardants often results in the formation of dust and small particulates that may be ingested or inhaled if the material is used in an indoor space. Disposal of materials containing flame retardants in landfills can result in contamination of groundwater and surface waters with the chemical. Runoff from landfills or waste handling stations can expose organisms that live in surface waters.
How is it Categorized?
Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is an additive flame retardant, not chemically bound to the substances to which it is added. Approximately 90% of HBCD is used in polystyrene insulation (ESIS 2008).
What are its Synonyms?
NICCA FI-NONE CG 1
NICCA FI-NONE TS 1
PYROGUARD F 800
PYROGUARD SR 103
PYROGUARD SR 103A