EPA is proposing to add a Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) category to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals. This proposal, if finalized, would expand the scope of chemicals subject to reporting and provide communities with more complete information on toxic chemical releases.
Background on HBCD
HBCD is a brominated flame retardant used mainly in expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) and extruded polystyrene foam (XPS). EPS and XPS are used primarily for thermal insulation boards in the building and construction industry. HBCD may also be used as a flame retardant in textiles. Concerns about releases and uses of HBCD have been raised because it is found worldwide in the environment and wildlife and has also been found in human breast milk, fat tissue and blood.
Basis for EPA's Proposal
EPA has found that HBCD meets the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act Section 313 chronic human health effects criterion for listing because it presents potential concerns for developmental and reproductive effects. EPA also believes that HBCD meets the environmental effects criterion for listing because it is highly toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Additionally, HBCD bioaccumulates and is persistent in the environment. As a result, HBCD meets the TRI criteria for a Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT) chemical and is proposed to be designated as a chemical of special concern, with a 100-pound reporting threshold.
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