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HEALTH EFFECTS OF BROMINATED FLAME RETARDANTS (BFRS)
BIRNBAUM, L. S. HEALTH EFFECTS OF BROMINATED FLAME RETARDANTS (BFRS). Presented at 27th International Symposium on Halogenated Persistent Organic Pollutants -- Dioxin 2007, Tokyo, JAPAN, September 02 - 07, 2007.
Abstract Brominated flame retardant use has increased dramatically in order to provide fire safety to consumers. However, there is growing concern about widespread environmental contamination and potential health risks from some of these products. The most used products have been TBBPA, HBCD, and several PBDE mixtures, although the Penta- and Octa-PBDE commercial mixtures are no longer produced. TBBPA is relatively less persistent and bioaccumulative than most of the others, not acutely toxic, but does have potential to cause endocrine disruption. HBCD is persistent, bioaccumulative, induces enzymes, and alters thyroid homeostasis, among other responses. As for the PBDEs, the composition in the commercial mixture is different from that in biota. While the Deca-PBDE mixture is still made and used, BDE209 is less persistent and bioaccumulative than the lower brominated congeners, into which it can break down. However, Deca can cause cancer and developmental effects. The Penta and Octa mixtures, as well as several of the major congeners present in wildlife and people, can alter liver enzymes, affect thyroid levels, and are associated with developmental reproductive and neuro-toxicity. In North America, there is little margin of exposure between the most highly exposed people in the general population and the levels in animals where effects have been observed.