EU approves use of HBCDD | Breast Cancer UK

EU approves use of HBCDD

Published 10 Nov 2015

Breast Cancer UK has reacted with disappointment at the decision by member states in the EU to approve an authorisation for two continued uses of the banned brominated flame retardant HBCDD until August 2017.  

Despite pressure from a number of NGOs, including Breast Cancer UK, HBCDD will continue to be used in certain building applications as long as specific risk management measures are put in place.  

Breast Cancer UK lobbied the UK Government to oppose the application on the basis that the chemical is an endocrine disruptor with oestrogenic properties.  HBCDD is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic and has also been classified as a reprotoxicant under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and should be phased out by 2020.  HBCDD is associated with thyroid disorders in humans(1) and because it is oestrogenic(2) there is a possibility it could  increase the risk of breast cancer.  

Breast Cancer UK also opposed the application on technical grounds.  The full letter to the Minister can be found here



1. Lyche et al. (2015). Human health risk associated with brominated flame-retardants (BFRs). Environment International 74: 170–180.

2. Dorosh et al. (2011). Assessing Oestrogenic Effects of Brominated Flame Retardants Hexabromocyclododecane and Tetrabromobisphenol A on MCF-7 Cells. Folia Biologica 57: 35-39

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