Brominated flame retardants

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Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) refer to over 75 different bromine-containing chemicals used to inhibit ignition of combustible organic materials.[1] Although other types of flame retardants exist, BFRs are commonly used because they are effective and cheap. However, some are also dangerous to human health. Both Tris-BP and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) were proven harmful and phased out decades ago. However, other BFRs, like PBDEs, are still in use today despite growing evidence of their danger to human health. PBDE production constitutes 25 percent of all flame retardant production.[2] A number of flame retardants have been found in sewage sludge.

BFRs are divided into five classes:[3]

However, despite the number and diversity of BFRs, only five chemicals constituted the majority of BFR production as of 2004. The first three classes represent the highest production volumes. Those five are:[4]

It should be noted that the latter three chemicals on this list are all classified as PBDEs and, as of 2010, there is action in the U.S. and abroad to phase them out. See more at the article on PBDEs.

Articles and resources

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References

  1. Linda S. Birnbaum and Daniele F. Staskal, "Brominated Flame Retardants: Cause for Concern?", Environmental Health Perspectives, January 1, 2004, Accessed August 10, 2010
  2. Centers for Disease Control, Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals
  3. Linda S. Birnbaum and Daniele F. Staskal, "Brominated Flame Retardants: Cause for Concern?", Environmental Health Perspectives, January 1, 2004, Accessed August 10, 2010
  4. Linda S. Birnbaum and Daniele F. Staskal, "Brominated Flame Retardants: Cause for Concern?", Environmental Health Perspectives, January 1, 2004, Accessed August 10, 2010

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