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Flame Retardent List Heading

Flame Retardants

2-Ethylhexyl tetrabromobenzoate

Where is it Commonly Found?

2-Ethylhexyl tetrabromobenzoate (TBB) is used in PVC and neoprene, wire and cable insulation, coated fabrics, as well as wall coverings and adhesives (Andersson et al., 2006). It is used as a replacement for pentaBDE in polyurethane foam in furniture and juvenile products (New Materials International, 2003).


No toxicity information is available on TBB alone; however, a mixture of TBB ad TBPH has low acute toxicity via oral and dermal exposure, but it is a slight eye and skin irritant and is a skin sensitizer (CIREEH, 2011). No animal studies are available for carcinogenicity, but mutagenicity tests in Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli were negative. No information is available on the developmental and reproductive toxicity of the chemical. An animal study indicates that the compound is not neurotoxic, but affects the kidneys at very high doses. Based on its chemical structure and properties, TBB has a high bioaccumulation potential, and contamination of surface waters may lead to significant uptake in the food web.

In 2004, the EPA Design for the Environment predicted reproductive, neurological, and developmental toxicity and persistent degradation products from TBB. Components of that mixture have been found in dust, sewage sludge, and marine mammals, suggesting that the flame retardant may be migrating from products and bioaccumulating in animals (Shaw et al., 2010).

TBB is structurally similar to bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate (TBPH). Both TBB and TBPH are genotoxic in fish, causing significant DNA damage (increased DNA strand breaks from liver cells) in orally exposed fish (Bearr, Stapleton, and Mitchelmore, 2010). TBPH is a brominated analogue of di(ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) (Stapleton et al., 2008), which is listed under Proposition 65 as known to cause cancer and reproductive and developmental toxicity (OEHHA 2008). Health effects are therefore suspected for TBPH.and juvenile products (New Materials International, 2003).

How is it Categorized?

Brominated Flame Retardant



Additional Facts

2-Ethylhexyl tetrabromobenzoate (TBB) is an additive flame retardant often used used as a replacement for pentaBDE in polyurethane foam (from This component, as well as PBDEs, migrate from foam products into indoor dust. These semi-volatile indoor dust compound can form thin films on walls and windows.

What are its Synonyms?