On June 13, 2014 the US Environmental Protection Agency published a report on alternatives to the flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and an updated draft report on alternatives to pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE). The alternatives discussed in the reports were identified through EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Alternatives Assessment Program. The EPA identified butadiene-styrene brominated copolymer as a safer alternative to HBCD and oligomeric phosphonate polyol as a safer alternative to pentaBDE. Both flame retardants have caused concern because of reproductive, developmental and neurological effects on human health and the environment. Further, they may be persistent and bioaccumulative. Brominated flame retardants have also been found to be present in recycled food contact materials (Samsonek et al 2013,previously reported on by the FPF).

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EPA (June 12, 2014). “Flame retardant alternatives for hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)” (pdf)

EPA (June 12, 2014). “Draft update of a previous alternatives assessment on flame retardants used in flexible polyurethane foam.” (pdf)

FPF article “Brominated flame retardants in European food contact materials


Samsonek, J. and F. Puype (2013). “Occurrence of brominated flame retardants in black thermocups and selected kitchen utensils purchased on the European market”. Food Additives & Contamination: Part A (published online July 26, 2013).