Hexabromocyclododecane : current understanding of chemistry, environmental fate and toxicology and implications for global management
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Engineering sciences. Technology
Environmental science and technology / American Chemical Society. - Easton, Pa
, p. 8613-8623
University of Antwerp
Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is a globally produced brominated flame retardant (BFR) used primarily as an additive FR in polystyrene and textile products and has been the subject of intensified research, monitoring and regulatory interest over the past decade. HBCD is currently being evaluated under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. HBCD is hydrophobic (i.e., has low water solubility) and thus partitions to organic phases in the aquatic environment (e.g., lipids, suspended solids). It is ubiquitous in the global environment with monitoring data generally exhibiting the expected relationship between proximity to known sources and levels; however, temporal trends are not consistent. Estimated degradation half-lives, together with data in abiotic compartments and long-range transport potential indicate HBCD may be sufficiently persistent and distributed to be of global concern. The detection of HBCD in biota in the Arctic and in source regions and available bioaccumulation data also support the case for regulatory scrutiny. Toxicity testing has detected reproductive, developmental and behavioral effects in animals where exposures are sufficient. Recent toxicological advances include a better mechanistic understanding of how HBCD can interfere with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, affect normal development, and impact the central nervous system; however, levels in biota in remote locations are below known effects thresholds. For many regulatory criteria, there are substantial uncertainties that reduce confidence in evaluations and thereby confound management decision-making based on currently available information.