PBDEs & HBCD

Brominated Flame Retardants

At and around your household, you and your family may be exposed to a variety of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) including the Brominated Flame Retardants: PBDEs & HBCD. These chemicals have been found to have fatal consequences on our health and the environment.

PBDEs & HBCD

Brominated Flame Retardants

At and around your household, you and your family may be exposed to a variety of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) including the Brominated Flame Retardants: PBDEs & HBCD. These chemicals have been found to have fatal consequences on our health and the environment.

What are Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs)?

They’re in our favorite chairs, in the beds we sleep in, and in the devices we use. They are substances or chemicals added to many consumer products to reduce the flammability of products/articles or to slow the spread of fire once it has started.

Why Protect Yourself from PBDEs & HBCD?

These POPs are in our environment and can accumulate to toxic levels over time in the body—turning short-lived aches and pains into permanent damage that affects the liver, thyroid, reproductive systems, and important neurological functions. But all is not lost, there is hope! Start learning how you can minimize your exposure to these dangerous POPs today!

Danger lurks where you least expect it

Understanding the dangers

These toxic substances or chemicals are added to many consumer products to reduce the flammability of products/articles or to slow the spread of fire once it has started. They have been used in foam, building, insulation, and other products for many years. Although it is being phased out, this legacy use combined with other ongoing uses creates a toxic reservoir of HBCD that may be released into the environment and harm people’s health. In some cases, these chemicals have been found to cause serious harm to humans, especially in children and can impair the body’s ability to function. The main routes of human exposure to Brominated Flame Retardants are the ingestion of contaminated indoor dust at home and in the workplace.

How To Reduce Exposure

Watch out for the following:

Protecting yourself and your loved ones are simpler than you think! Watch out for these common items found at home that may contain PBDEs and HBCD.

PCB related issues

Due to the use of PCBs (for their fire resistant properties) the electrical and power generation industries are particularly susceptible or even influential with PCB related issues

Contaminated material

Exposure due to direct contact with PCB equipment and contaminated material

Firefighting foams

Due to the use of PFOS/PFAS in firefighting foams this industry is particularly susceptible or even influential with PFAS related contamination issues

Recreational

Recreational use of potentially contaminated areas (where fire-fighting foam was used – including fire-fighting practice areas) can expose children to contamination

Stain/Water Resistant Items

Continuous wearing of clothes or use of carpets treated with PFOS for stain and/or water resistant properties

Flame Resistant Uniforms

Continuous wearing of uniforms treated with flame retardants (HBCD in Flame Resistant Uniforms)

PCB related issues

Due to the use of PCBs (for their fire resistant properties) the electrical and power generation industries are particularly susceptible or even influential with PCB related issues

Firefighting foams

Due to the use of PFOS/PFAS in firefighting foams this industry is particularly susceptible or even influential with PFAS related contamination issues

Recreational

Recreational use of potentially contaminated areas (where fire-fighting foam was used – including fire-fighting practice areas) can expose children to contamination

Direct contact

Direct contact with treated products e.g. carpets, mattresses, upholstery, furniture, textiles, automotive applications and building and construction materials

Clothes

Continuous wearing of clothes treated with flame retardants (HBCD)

Direct contact with Electronics

Continuous direct contact (ingest, inhale, touch) with electrical products/material treated with BFRs e.g. computer monitors, televisions, cell phones and remote controls

Agriculture treatment

Farmers, farm workers and housekeepers can be exposed to pesticides in agriculture through the treatment of crops, plants and grain stores

Landfill disposal

Hazardous waste streams/products such as electronic wastes, pesticide containers and old vehicles should not be comingled with general waste for landfill disposal

Open Burning

Open burning of waste such as green waste, copper cables and plastics can lead to the generation of hazardous emissions including Unintentional POPs

Incineration of Medical waste

If medical waste is incinerated in conditions that do not constitute best available techniques or best environmental practices, there is potential for the release of PCDD and PCDF in relatively high concentrations

Burning of certain materials

Burning of certain materials such as cable wires, plastic and electronics can lead to the generation of unintentional POPs

Smoke

Inhaling the smoke caused by burning copper cables can be dangerous

Cookware and food packaging

PFOS exposure can also occur through releases from cookware and food packaging that are treated with these chemicals

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