Science Daily reported on Aug. 26, 12013, Worldwide Ban On Flame Retardant. The flame retardant HBCD is no longer allowed to be produced or used. This decision was made by representatives from over 160 countries at a UN conference on chemicals in Geneva.
Extensive research by Empa on HBCD, which was formerly used as a flame retardant for plastics, electronics and textiles, and especially for insulation panels in buildings, has contributed to the new regulation of HBCD under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that EPA's Action Plan for HBCD has identified this chemical as persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative in living organisms, and very toxic to aquatic organisms. Human exposure to HBCD can be evidenced by the presence of HBCD in breast milk, adipose tissue, and blood, and it also biomagnifies in the food chain.
HBCD has been found to present human health concerns based on animal test results which indicate potential reproductive, developmental, and neurological effects. People can be exposed to HBCD from products and dust which is in the home and workplace, as well as the presence of HBCD in the environment.
EMPA has reported research findings dealing with HBCD were ultimately unequivocal.
30 years after they were first produced industrially and used around the world, the expert committee of the Stockholm Convention classified HBCDs as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), and laid the foundations for a global ban. The resolution was formally passed on May 9, 2013 and comes into effect after a transition period of approximately one year.